Workshop Tackles Issues of 'New Federalism.'(1996 National League of Cities Congress of Cities)
Borgus, Heather, Nation's Cities Weekly
"The choices that are being made today are going to have immense consequences in all the cities across this nation" said Lucy Allen, Mayor of Louisburg, NC at the Sunday workshop session entitled "Which Way State and Local Government.'
This workshop, held during the National league of Cities Congress of Cities Congress of Cities in San Antonio, Tex., was the first in a special series focusing on changing governance. All of the sessions in this series were moderated by NLC Past President Charles Royer, director of America's Promise, to provide connections from one session to another on the probable changes, pressure points and potentials that are likely to arise in the current climate of examining government roles and responsibilities.
"What big changes are coming down the road, not only from the federal government but from technology and from regulatory change"' asked Royer of the audience. "How will all of this affect our communities and what do we do about it?'
Entering 1997, state government is in the best fiscal shape it has been in in ten years, but we can be certain that it will not last was the consensus of those assembled.
The panelists, consisting of Lucy Allen, Mayor, Louisburg, N.C.; Hal Hovey, President State Policy Research, Inc., Columbus, Ohio; Walter Kelly, Town Council President, Fishers, IN; Michael Hightower, Commissioner, Fulton County, Ga.; and Rodney Ellis, State Senator, Houston, Tex., provided a personal perspective of how these federal changes will affect local governments.
The relationship between American governments and their constituents has always involved a dynamic process of change, but the current time period seems to be a period in which change is particularly rapid with major implications for local governments.
Quite simply, what happens at the national level does have an impact on every community across the country as well as with every citizen. As the federal government reduces its deficit and national debt, there are fewer dollars to support local programs. And, as the federal government reduces its role in some programs, such as welfare and housing, the needs do not disappear. …