Clackamas County"Complete Communities":
Making Complete Communities Effective
....... and less Costly
Public and Govermental Affairs Manager:
It was 10 years ago that the Villages and other Complete Communities were enabled by a Clackamas County ordinance.¬† They were to give voice to the "needs and issues" of the citizens of specific communities.¬† Metro/Stump Town and the UGB was one Community's ¬†issue.¬† Deteriorating Community Center and bike/ped paths were another's.
The Complete Communities program is now being reviewed.
It is well that it should be.
You have a number of years of experience in managing this program amidst the very busy work load of useful things the County must accomplish with the Federal, State, and local jurisdictions.
Including fully burdened employee time, effort, etc and the minor cash budget (mis) used by the 3 Complete Communities left and the 2 carcasses, is actually
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† several $100,000s of dollars.
This does not seem to be a wise use of funds.
¬†=> giving tax money to neer-du-wells to buy sound systems, laptop projectors, replace Town Hall signs they "misplaced", sue cities, etc is less than useful.
Additionally, the County itself has very critical funding needs to meet:
- areas must be provided police protection from violence and drug crime,
- roads need to be maintained and key transportation routes built,
- Metro fought to provide areas for new housing and jobs
so the children growing up have a place to live and work
- people are at risk from flooding, etc.
The management Key
to Complete Communities
the Communities have requested this access
It is not
a standard BCC ABC program to give input, it is not
a County/BCC request
it is a Community request
that the BCC has been kind enough to look favorably upon.
Not County Employee Forte
It is clear from Molalla and Mt. Hood experiences, that creating and managing new organizations is not really in the experiential skill set of the County or its "ready consultants".
Yes, some folk like a "free lunch", spending other people's money, be "big boss", that that is not what the Complete Communities Congress asked for.
Enable! Empower! ....but Hold Accountable!
As any entrepreneur knows, there are 3 parts to creating a successful organization
- enable - the context within which the organization is created
- empower - what constitutes "success" and
what are the requirements/"side boards" that limit the degrees of action
- hold accountable - is it delivering the "right things" in the "right way"
=> this is not a "glib talk" and "meetings" item, it is metrics and results
Anyone with real skill in this area could, with a little thought, provide a set of management directions and experiences that would illuminate these words.¬† Clueless consultants use them as "buzz phases" to leech money from an organization.
Evaluation: No Accountability!
The first two are "mostly OK" for Complete Communities, based up the often updated ordinance.
Missing are the "learned experiences", the BKMs (Best Known Methods), etc.¬† Also problematic is the lack of skill by the Junior County Employees, such as those who tried to "fluff up" their status reports and position by "doing things" for the Communities.
It is the hold accountable that has not been addressed.
Glib talkers have
- gender discrimination and bullying
- taken advantage of the County to spend tax monies for personal benefit,
- misuse County employees who wish to bloat their reports and appear to do something,
- avoid any personal work,
- manipulate the County to bully folk they didn't like,
- used position to attempt to line their pockets,¬† etc
The glib talking, "good old boys"¬† have not attempted to keep the community involved, other than their "friends and cronies" as they "hold time wasting meetings" and crow how great they are while in the "pursuit of money".
Making it Work
As a request from small communities to be able to be better heard about their "needs and issues", it is mandatory that the BCC manage this as "outside" request.
- It is a requirement that the Community Group actually represent the Community!
=> Communities are very diversion and do not agree!
That "disagreement" must be documented and anyone who says "the community wants" is deceiving
- It is the Community's problem to fund the effort!
We had worked from donations and were surprised when the County sent money, staff, etc.
- It is required that the Community¬† "do the work" to the satisfaction of the County
=> The Mt. Hood Corridor Strategic Planning group pulled together the community,
- if training is needed, the Community should request it and pay for it
- the "independent" Community should pay for needs like recordings, equipment, supplies, minutes, etc.
- By assigning a "liaison" with "nothing better to do", the liaison made it a "full time position" by being handmaiden to the glib talk/no work folk.
The County?¬† not at all as it killed initiative, the community center project, etc.
- It is a requirement on the Community to meet all Federal, State, and local requirements for inclusive action and not allowing poor behaviors such as gender discrimination, lying, deceit, certifying false things, lying to the County, etc to exist
- The mandatory requirements must be reviewed yearly:
not "talk, talk", but the "how and what" of what is needed
-> how has the entire community been involved or reached out to?
I understand "program reviews" are not really the forte of the County,
=> but County employees are smart and flexible: learn.
- If the group does not wish to fund and do the work,
=> ¬†then it isn't important enough and doesn't need visibility from the county.
- The entire organizations should be "re-created" every 5 years or so.
If the "needs and issues" aren't important enough to do the minor amount of work to re-create the organization, why does it exist?
I wish you luck in your endeavor to "clean out the stables".
I¬† note that cleaning a stable in July is very aromatic, sweaty and "not fun"; and while diverting Augean rivers might reduce the risk of flooding, it is not practical in this case.
They weren't totally evil,
nor were they particularly virtuous,
but their incompetence, deceit, snake oil, and intimidation
made them the Villages of the Darned