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Getting together; State can play role in regionalism trend.

COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION

The Patrick administration's plans to allow communities to benefit from state pension management and insurance purchasing may be the first of several steps to encourage a regional approach to local governance.

To be sure, many communities have moved in that direction on their own. In Central Massachusetts, for example, solid waste disposal and joint purchasing are just two areas in which regional cooperation is paying dividends.

In Worcester last week, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray reiterated the interest in regionalism expressed by Gov. Deval L. Patrick in his inaugural address. Meeting with the Telegram & Gazette editorial board, Mr. Murray noted that, the problems of county government notwithstanding, its elimination also removed a potential opportunity for municipalities to expand regional cooperation.

The state might be able to encourage local collaboration, he suggested, by offering regional economic development incentives and encouraging local shared services arrangements.

The administration is right to encourage this line of action. In the current economic climate, municipal governments can use all the cost savings and efficiencies they can get.
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Title Annotation:INSIGHT
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 11, 2007
Words:175
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