At-Large Position 5
During my initial meeting with Mayor Turner to discuss my council priorities, I expressed an interest in pursuing a specific recommendation from the PFM Report – establishing a shared services working group to explore areas in which the city and Harris County could jointly provide services to gain efficiencies. Sharing services will reduce overlapping and duplicative services, pool resources to better leverage additional funding, take advantage of economies of scale, and create opportunities for innovation. I promised Mayor Turner research on this topic and toward that end, I created this document. My council team and I have put this information together hoping it will provide a framework for creating a working group and getting started on a joint cooperative study.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, PFM recommended looking at coordinating public health services. Most large cities combine these services with county governments, demonstrating a logical place to begin. Harris County has also looked at recommendations to combine public health services in Harris Cares: A 2020 Vision of Health in Harris County. Public health is not the only area where the city and county could share services. The city and county have done an excellent job working together through this crisis; it makes sense to take this coordination to the next level and explore what it would take to join forces like other large cities and counties in Texas and across the country. PFM also recommends looking at law enforcement, libraries, IT, MWSBE certification, and efforts to address homelessness. I am interested in pursuing opportunities to share services in these and other areas as well. I would like to hear from residents and encourage you to contact me with thoughts you may have about sharing services.