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Please come join the online live chat tomorrow (Thursday, November 15, 2012) with me and Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Collaboration, Ed Jerse. Many of you may recall that I love live chats, so I’m very excited to be doing this with the Civic Commons (my day job).

To add more fun, I’ve known Ed for many years and it is going to be an honor to moderate this conversation about the County’s efforts in shared services, collaboration, consolidation and yes – I’ll say it – merger. Please come lurk and engage from 11-12noon.

Can’t be there? Leave a question or comment now and Ed will respond later.

You can watch the event unfold here.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:31 pm November 14th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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Never heard of collabbing? Here’s a teaser from one of my Civic Commons’ blog posts. You can go here to read the entire post. It offers a window into what I’ve been doing for nearly the last year as part of the EfficientGovNetwork, a project supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future and which I’ve been directing through the Civic Commons.

Over the weekend, I came home from a few hours out with a friend to find my middle-school son transferring files and installing programs from his fairly puny and old laptop to my college-bound son’s more powerful and newer one. Curious as to how the former presumably conned the latter into this arrangement, I asked. And the response warmed my kumbaya-loving heart.

“We collabbed.” Pronounced like, “co-labbed” like the nickname for laboratory, lab, and short for collaboration.

Now where on Earth did a 12 year old get such language to even describe what he’d done!?

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:46 am July 5th, 2012 in Cleveland+, CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Government | Comments Off 

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UPDATE: You can watch the show here or below:

Good taping this morning amidst an insane schedule.  Who do I think I am!? A working mom (aka super being) or something? You can tune in on WVIZ/PBS on Friday at 8:30pm or Sunday at 11:30am, or the Ohio Channel on Monday at 1:30pm or 9:30pm or Tuesday at 5:30am.  The video posts toward the end of the week.

Here’s the show’s rundown:

Allegations of Dirty Parks & Dirty Pool

Posted Friday, June 22, 2012

Roundtable:  Mark Naymik, metro columnist, The Plain Dealer; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks; Greg Saber, Freelance Journalist

Bad Parks—Many of northeast Ohio’s lakefront parks are drowning in weeds, driftwood and trash, the victims of poor or non-existent maintenance.  A Plain Dealer report this week canvassed three parks, Edgewater, Euclid Beach and Wildwood and found them in appalling condition.  Each of these is under the umbrella of the State of Ohio which has put little money into them in recent years.

Politics on the Down-low—Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel has touched off debate with recent criticism of incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown.  Mandel has called Brown hypocritical for portraying Republicans as anti-women when he was once accused of domestic violence.  The accusations grew out of a decades-old divorce case.  Brown’s camp called Mandel’s action ‘despicable’ while the Mandel camp says the old family dispute is legitimate political rhetoric. Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 2:07 pm June 22nd, 2012 in Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Josh Mandel, Regionalism, RIP, senate | Comments Off 

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I don’t know, but I can tell you that the work I’ve been doing with the Civic Commons and the EfficientGovNetwork since September 2011 has been geared toward making sure that NE Ohio leverages the government collaboration experience its gained over time to drawn down state money set aside in the Kasich administration’s first biennium budget via the Local Government Innovation Fund. Word came down today that the Ohio Department of Development office in charge of the LGIF grants and loans will gather at 1pm on Friday to announce awards:

The Local Government Innovation Fund Council will hold a public meeting on Friday June 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, 19th Floor Room 1960, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

The Council’s agenda includes reviewing Round 1 Loan and Grant applications for approval and award.

Read more

By Jill Miller Zimon at 9:31 pm May 30th, 2012 in CuyahogaCounty, EfficientGovNetwork, Ohio, Regionalism | Comments Off 

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The last several months have been extraordinarily busy ones for me as I find and hit a groove with my work at The Civic Commons on behalf of the EfficientGovNetwork.  You can check out what Jill built, with some very excellent assistance from the Civic Commons team, here and can join us in person to see what we’re working toward this Thursday at an afternoon hour-long City Club Forum:

Local Government 2.0
Ohio’s State Budget and What it Means

February 2 @4:30pm

The $112 billion state budget Governor Kasich signed in July 2011 is in full effect.  The budget cut $2 billion to local governments and schools; repealed the estate tax and included an expansion of charter schools.  The votes were along party lines- Democrats criticized the budget for including too many cuts and GOP legislative leaders praised the budget for filling in a multi-billion budget shortfall.

The City Club, in partnership with The Civic Commons, ideastream and

The Plain Dealer, will examine the state budget as well as educate the community on the policies and programs proposed to help municipalities.

Moderated by: Joe Frolik, The Plain Dealer


Randy Cole, President, Ohio Controlling Board; Policy Advisor, Kasich Administration

Kathy Mulcahy, Mayor, Orange Village

Tony Paglia, VP, Government Affairs, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber

Make reservations*

*Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of the event. Reservations will be held 15 minutes past start of program, such as 12:15 for noon programs. Reservations will then be open to standby ticketing.

Special Event:
$20 Member
$20 Non Member

Reservations Toll-Free at 888-223-6786 or locally at 216-621-0082

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to pass this on to folks whom you think might want to join us.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:47 pm January 31st, 2012 in Business, Cleveland+, Economy, Education, EfficientGovNetwork, Government, leadership, Ohio, Politics, Regionalism, Transparency | Comments Off 

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I’ll be blogging for The Civic Commons every Friday and here’s my first post, “Government mergers: The wisdom and the waiting.”

No surprise, it’s about the wills and the will nots – as in, will merge/consolidate/collaborate/partner/share versus the will not merge, collaborate, partner, share.  Please strike up a conversation there – the commentary upon which it’s based expresses feelings a lot of folks have expressed. We need to get this all out there so we can move forward.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 5:48 pm January 20th, 2012 in BurbMerger, Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Government, Ohio, Politics | Comments Off 

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If you didn’t hear about it on the radio or television or see it in the papers yet:

Currently, there are six major departments and agencies that focus primarily on business and trade in the federal government.  The six are: U.S. Department of Commerce’s core business and trade functions, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Consolidating these agencies along with other related programs will help entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes grow, compete, and hire, leveraging one cohesive Department with one mission: to spur job creation and expand the U.S. economy.

In his last State of the Union Address, President Obama noted there was more that we must do to give American businesses all they need to succeed. The Federal Government is a maze of Federal agencies with overlapping services and missions, making it difficult for businesses – and especially small ones – to find the assistance they need to export, expand, and hire.

Many rivers to cross, though, as they say.

For those who don’t know, my current work is with the Civic Commons EfficientGovNetwork project (do check it out and let me know what you think) – so I’m trying to keep a very keen eye on anything related to such things.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 3:36 pm January 14th, 2012 in EfficientGovNetwork, Government | Comments Off 

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Check it all out here and please note: public comment on the policy closes this Friday and applications for the first round are set for February 20, 2012 through March 1, 2012 – not a lot of time before, and not a long window of time to submit something.

Please – if you are a taxpayer and want your local government or public entities to consider collaborations and service sharing or even merging, speak up, develop relationships, get going on planning.  The EfficientGovNetwork is precisely the place for doing such things and you can check that out here.  We have podcasts, videos, materials from successful complete collaborations as well as ones that have gone through feasibility studies and are in the decision-making and implementing phase.

No one will suggest that $1.4 billion taken away from local entities can be made up by any amount of collaboration for the incentive price of $45 million. But it is nothing to sneeze at either.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:58 pm November 16th, 2011 in EfficientGovNetwork | Comments Off 

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In Podcast #3 for my work at The Civic Commons EfficientGovNetwork’s site, you can hear me and Cleveland State University Associate Professor of Political Science, David Elkins, discuss what it takes to get government to change.  You can always offer comments here, but I’d also love to encourage you to start a conversation on the Commons about what electeds and other stakeholders should be doing to ripen the conditions for the change we need and want.

(I love this work, btw – we’ve just updated the content to reflect a new theme – collaborations in public safety – please take a look)

BONUS: See if you catch which quote from former Ohio Gov. James Rhodes is mentioned in the podcast. Here’s a hint.

By Jill Miller Zimon at 10:45 pm October 24th, 2011 in Cleveland+, EfficientGovNetwork, Government | Comments Off