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Newport City Council Approves Study for Shared Services Between School and City Departments

The council unanimously approved a resolution to conduct a study on the efficiencies served by combining city and school services.

The unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday night ordering a study be undertaken by the and the Superintendent of Schools to measure potential efficiencies, cost savings and service delivery optimization by combining school and city services.

The study analyze savings by combining facilities, financial and information technology services.

Results of that study will be submitted at the May 23 City Council meeting so that potential cost savings can be incorporated into the FY 2013 budget.

The council adopted a resolution in 2005 that directed the city administration to work with the school department by implementing shared service agreements that would be “beneficial to the operational and financial health of the City of Newport.”

Since then, the topic of shared services between the two departments has been discussed during City Council and Newport School Committee Liaison meetings and during city budget meetings.

Mayor Stephen C. Waluk said the city is pursuing the study to “flush out redundancy” and “streamline how the two groups work together.”

“I think this is very doable and very easy,” Council Henry Winthrop said.

Councilor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said she agreed, and also commended members of the liaison committee who brought the plans forward.

“I don’t know if this will save one dollar or half a million,” Councilor Justin McLaughlin, who is also on the liaison committee, said. “Whatever it will save is worth the effort. . .we need to save every dollar we can.”

pferd March 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Another study. What are they studying? Who can pocket some money from this?
Diana Britton March 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I'm looking forward to more specific details about which facilities and services they suggest combining. If it resolves the redundancy issue without severely handicapping either the school or city efficiency, I'd say it was a good idea.
Eve Waterhouse March 29, 2012 at 03:22 PM
GREAT IDEA, loong overdue, don't bother studying, just DO IT.
Daphne March 30, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Why we need 3 school districts in this small area (why we need 34 school districts in this state!!) is completely ridiculous. It boils down to egos and nothing else. We need a county-wide school district, ONE superintendent, and ONE central office. That's how it is in most forward thinking states, anyway.
Taxpayer March 31, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I agree with Daphne. The talk about city shared services and potential savings is laughable compared to the savings on streamlining central offices, high schools and middle schools. So much for a forward thinking city council.
John H Hedley March 31, 2012 at 04:19 AM
As to the answer 'why', you get all sorts of excuses (jobs, athletes, commutes) but none of them hold water. In the end there has to be a fundemental reason for the institutionalized inertia paralyzing this issue, and the only one I can find is race: Newport has diversity and the rest of the island doesn't and doesn't want that to change.

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