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Neighborhood Leaders Work to Strengthen Community

The HPG Network has partnered with Leadership Fort Wayne and the City of Fort Wayne to create the Best Practice Neighborhood Initiative. The Best Practice Neighborhood Initiative provides training and tools to help committed residents and neighborhood leaders work successfully with community development agencies, developers and local government for the benefit of their neighborhood and ultimately the entire community. Training is designed to provide the framework, insights and lessons for working together to revitalize and improve Fort Wayne and Allen County neighborhoods. [ Read More... ]

Collaborative Government Project Makes Impact in Angola and Kendallville

By Rebecca Downs, HPG Network

phoca_thumb_l_p1040661In an effort to improve collaboration and effectiveness, the cities of Kendallville and Angola worked with the HPG Network as part of the Northeast Indiana Collaborative Government Program. The HPG Network, with support from Dekko Foundation, Olive B. Cole Foundation and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, offered this program to Angola Mayor Richard Hickman, Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe and department leaders. Participants completed a series of workshops about the critical challenges their cities face. The project encouraged regional collaboration and development by providing local government leaders with the tools and training useful to sustain a responsive, high-performing organization. [ Read More... ]

Local Governments Use Activity Based Management to Monitor Costs

By Rebecca Downs, HPG Network

Local governments, like many organizations, are always seeking innovative ways to improve services, cut costs and measure results. Activity Based Management (ABM) is one methodology some have used to reevaluate the cost-effectiveness of activities within their organization and find areas where costs can be reduced. An increasing number of towns and cities have realized cost savings using the ABM methodology.phoca_thumb_l_090811-001

In technical terms, ABM is the development, measurement and control of an organization's activities. It's a costing system that examines the activities as units of work. This means looking at all activities -- such as moving materials, attending meetings, issuing orders or receiving materials -- and determining the cost per activity. At the activities level, improvement is focused on specific aspects of the business process, not on minor tasks like counting boxes or on broad processes like firefighting. [ Read More... ]

New Haven Citizens' Academy

Citizen Awareness and Engagement in Local Government
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City of Muncie Faces Challenges Head On

The City of Muncie is working to address their budget shortfall.  Mayor Sharon McShurley recently unveiled the City's strategic performance plan that was developed in partnership with the HPG Network, Ball Brothers Foundation, and the Ball State Bowen Center for Public Affairs.  The strategic performance plan is the roadmap developed by city government leaders that identifies core competencies and performance improvement opportunities. [ Read More... ]

HPG Network Helps City of Muncie in Change Culture in Local Government

By Rebecca Downs, HPG Network

In 2008-2009, the City of Muncie partnered with the HPG Network to undertake a project to improve the operations of city government. This project was designed to develop a strategy and framework for the accomplishment of city goals. The HPG Network, with support from Ball State University Bowen Center for Public Affairs and the Ball Brothers Foundation, facilitated the project to prioritize improvements. The effort was lead internally by Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley and city department heads.p1040668

After the conclusion of the strategy setting phase of the project, Mayor McShurley saw an opportunity to promote culture change deeper in the organization. With the help of the HPG Network, the City of Muncie followed up with further training sessions designed to reach front line employees in the Building Internal Capacity phase. The City of Muncie invested in the city employees by providing learning opportunities where they could gain new tools and skills, which would help them reach the previously established goals and create a culture change in the city departments. [ Read More... ]

Improving Lawn Maintenance Inventory and Contracting

This project has allowed the allowed the City to maintain an updated inventory; eliminate ordinance violations; eliminate 600 annual man-applied hours; and reduce costs by $51,000 per year.
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Improving Pothole Response Time

Now 99.6% of all potholes reported are filled within 24 hours and the average pothole repair time is 1.5 hours.
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Optimize Call Handling by Reducing Pruning Calls

Defective calls have been reduced by 72% and total pruning calls have been reduced by 67% resulting in improved customer service and department efficiency.
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Reducing the Cost per Foot of Water Main Replacements

The new process has saved the City more than $317,000 per year or well over $1 million since the project was completed in 2002.
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Reducing the Turnaround Time in the Site Plan Routing Review Process

Turnaround time for application approval has improved 300%.  The average turnaround time for projects released to the County Building Department is now 8.7 days.  Increased efficiency and survey feedback has improved applicant rapport.  The need to purchase $150,000 of new software was eliminated.
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Reducing Transportation Project Change Orders

Since 2000, the reduction has saved $316,000. Other benefits include higher quality transportation projects, increased customer satisfaction and lower costs to the city.
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