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Robert Higgs
By Robert Higgs January 24, 2011

Cabinet-level appointment targets regional collaboration

During his campaign for Cuyahoga County executive, Ed FitzGerald proposed appointing a director of regional collaboration who would urge cooperation between the county government and its 59 independent municipalities and promote economic development.

The Cabinet-level Office of Regional Collaboration would pursue shared-service agreements between cities, seek grants for key regional initiatives and work to end what FitzGerald called a "destructive bidding war" for business among Northeast Ohio communities.

On Jan. 10, FitzGerald announced the appointment of former Democratic state Rep. Ed Jerse of Euclid as the county's first regional collaboration director.

FitzGerald already had been pushing collaboration among area mayors and city managers and had called on them to identify services they might share, and to cooperate on attracting jobs to the region.

After his appointment, Jerse identified information technology and trash collection as two possible areas where collaboration may be possible.

A state representative for 10 years, Jerse was forced to step down after 2004 due to term limits. As regional collaboration director, he will be paid $107,500 a year.

Base on Jerse"s selection, we move the Fitz-O-Meter to Promise Kept.

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