Initiatives to Increase Intergovernmental Cooperation

Most regions offer some type of forum or process for elected officials, city and county administrators, and/or local department staff to come together on a regular basis to discuss key issues. Very often, these sessions simply are opportunities to provide updates on what each community is doing.

Local government collaboration has been embedded in Central Iowa through the Governance Capital’s Local Government Collaboration (LGC) Project and the Central Iowa Code Consortium (CICC). These efforts have improved local process dynamics and are testament to the region’s spirit of collaboration. Participants’ spirit of collegiality and commitment to identify and pursue coordination opportunities remains steadfast.

Capital Crossroads 2.0 presents an opportunity to refocus our regional efforts to identify more efficient and lasting solutions for intergovernmental cooperation. Along with any discussions of new entities, expanded roles for existing entities that further regional coordination and cooperation should be actively pursued.

Capital's Overarching Goal

Central Iowa governments will sustain partnerships to optimize process coordination and regional governance.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership hosted its annual DC fly-in

May 2014

Nearly 200 of Central Iowa’s business, civic, and regional community leaders traveled to our nation’s capital and presented a federal public policy agenda to promote regional policy priorities and economic development projects during the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s annual advocacy trip to Washington, D.C.

Coordinated Operations and Governance

The Governance Capital team has provided informal oversight for initiatives focused on intergovernmental collaboration and process improvement. However, a more formalized structure is necessary to ensure that the positive work being done on the operations side by the Local Government Collaboration Project and Central Iowa Code Consortium is validated and sustainable.

Desired Goal

Pursuit of all viable opportunities to leverage existing organizational structures to coordinate local government operations in coordination with Capital Crossroads.

Pursuing operational coordination

The Local Government Collaboration (LGC) Project was established in partnership with fifteen cities and three counties in Central Iowa to better collaborate on public services for reducing costs, redundancies, complexity, and time commitments. The process has since been used by public safety, fire, police, parks and recreation, libraries, and human resources departments from metro area governments to identify opportunities for collaboration. The LGC already has resulted in numerous advances, including common testing days for police recruits, limiting of human resource duplication and improved employer training, libraries sharing resources and circulation systems, and the development of uniform standards for Central Iowa trails.

Born out of the work of the LGC, the Central Iowa Code Consortium (CICC) is a collaborative effort to improve uniformity and consistency in the adoption and enforcement of local building codes in Central Iowa. Consortium volunteers have assessed building code elements to develop a model for a uniform building code for consideration and adoption by local governments.

How We'll Do It

  1. 1

    Continue the evolution of the Local Government Collaboration Project

  2. 2

    Adopt and sustain the work of the Central Iowa Code Consortium

  3. 3

    Restructure the Des Moines Metropolitan Area Utility Coordination Committee

Assessing opportunities for regional governance

To date, the Governance Capital has focused on operational improvements. Volunteers feel that an official governance structure to oversee process improvement work would provide a needed framework to:

  • better unify these projects;
  • improve the likelihood that they would be supported and approved; and,
  • offer guidance on how operational coordination efforts can be applied to an overall regional vision and implementation networks.

In order to develop a long-term, sustainable framework for our Governance efforts, we must foster regional coordination to inform partnerships and decision-making around issues of governance, land use, and infrastructure. The Tomorrow Plan’s Regional Infrastructure Coordinating Committee confirmed this ongoing need. Capital Crossroads 2.0 will continue to foster this coordination and will pursue further collaboration.

How We'll Do It

  1. 1

    Pursue the development of a regional COG or similar entity

  2. 2

    Determine the long-term viability of existing regional coordination committees