HiPP partnership adapts for the futureHigh Impact Performance Partnership will undergo some changes to ensure longevity
High Impact Performance Partnership, a countywide effort to find ways for cities to save money by working together, is making some changes to ensure it keeps operating effectively.
The partnership, formed in 2004, has had some successes already, including the Dakota Communications Center, the Empire Township-based facility that since 2007 has handled police and fire dispatch for all Dakota County Cities.
“Through the years, our residents have been holding government to higher standards, both of efficiency and of effectiveness,” said Rosemount mayor Bill Droste. “We’ve found ways to collaborate with our neighbors, and make our tax dollars go farther. And we’re still finding new ways to do it.”
Even though some HiPP projects such as the DCC thrived, success was not always a guarantee. Ideas such as consolidated human resources departments for Dakota County cities, or jointly-purchased health care plans ultimately proved not to be cost-effective, and were projected to be very difficult to administer.
Between limited resources, turnover in political leadership, and at times, a plain-old resistance to change, the work of the HiPP group was never easy. By 2010, it was apparent that a “refocus of efforts” was needed to recapture some of the clarity and momentum that existed in the partnership’s earlier years. So, HiPP leaders decided to reset their areas of focus to represent a new set of government challenges.
Through surveys of county and the city employees, resident focus groups and town hall meetings, HiPP chose six new areas of focus, and developed a new set of goals for potential shared services. They include exploring opportunities for countywide shared software and technology services; developing shared fire training procedures and a solution to the existing shared training facility that is in need of repairs; determining ways in which we can share staff expertise throughout the county; research ways for the cities’ and county’s dark fiber (internet) networks to provide more functionality for government operations and to serve as a potential backbone system for a countywide broadband provider; exploring the feasibility of one local citation process with a common administrative law judge; and developing joint training opportunities for county and city employees, specifically in the area of Human Resources.