Founded in 1812, Columbus is the capital of Ohio and its largest city. MSA the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of several counties. Columbus is the US 15th largest city seating Franklin County. Recently the city annexed the areas of adjoining Fairfield County and Delaware County.
The local economy is diverse consisting of government, banking, education, insurance, medical research, steel, energy, hospitality, health care, technology, retail, defense, fashion, food, clothes, logistics, and aviation. The city headquarters the world’s top corporations such as American Electric Power, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, L Brands, Big Lots, Cardinal Health and Wendy’s corporations, as well as Siemens and Roxane Laboratories, Vaisala, A Y Manufacturing, Tomasco Mulciber Inc., US Yachiyo, Inc, and Yachiyo of America. Columbus holds vast IT potential and attracts investments and resources to facilitate city’s further expansion and development.
Columbus is acknowledged as a national leader in consolidating public and private efforts to provide homeless people with housing and provide housing support to low-income families. In 2008, the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) attempted to develop own road map to decentralize the city. The plan consisted in relocating residents from six old-style projects and demolishing the buildings. CMHA offered to empty and demolish Marion Square, Lincoln Park, Riverside-Bradley, Poindexter Village, Sunshine Terrace, and Sawyer Towers, and provide the residents with Section 8 vouchers permitting to rent private housing (The Columbus Dispatch, 2008).
This initiative recognized the fact that it is impossible to concentrate poverty in few places as this would give rise to despair and dysfunction. Families holding housing vouchers could escape financial dire straits and crime particular to their old neighborhoods and get a chance for the better future. This is possible since CMHA takes accountability for ensuring that landlords that participate in the program fairly provide safe and appropriate housing.
However, vouchers will not suit everyone who is in a need of housing assistance. People with disabilities, elderly clients, and people with special needs are the main beneficiaries from the concentration of people like them and accessible social services in a single location. Therefore, CMHA takes great care of these neediest categories (The Columbus Dispatch, 2008).
The decentralization assumes close-knit cooperation between local and federal agencies and private developers to make sure there are enough private units that accept vouchers.
Appealing for decentralization funds
Given the local potential and previous decentralization experience, the city of Columbus should further revive through decentralization. Further expansion and developmental initiatives and programs are possible given close-knit partnership of public and private sectors. Local governance is a milestone of the process and therefore local government of Columbus should become more accountable to the citizens. To revive the city’s major areas and domains, the city council should allocate and balance power and budgetary resources to enable central to local authorities provide better services on the local level. For this purpose, it is rather important to stimulate productive dialogue between city council and local stakeholders. The process should involve active participation of private donors, sponsors, investors and development organisations to facilitate effective implementation of the assumed decentralization initiatives (Boamet, 1994).
The sources of fiscal decentralization to generate local income should be allocated and distributed in line with the principles of social accountability. Various aid modalities to facilitate donor communities should be widely discussed in the course of open public meetings.
Considering these challenges and opportunities, we are herein asking the mayor to provide initial funds in the amount of $__________ to critically assess effective decentralization practices that would suit the city’s decentralization demands; increase insight into the various factors and issues that affect local performance; balance the impacts of decentralization on local accountability; develop, implement, and monitor support strategies to come up with effective implementation of decentralization practices; and apply positive experiences and success stories of external decentralization practices (Braid, 1988).
On the initial stage, the critical assessment of the available decentralization practices is of ultimate importance. It is vital to empirically analyze the concepts and practices of decentralization, including real motives as well as coherence between political, fiscal, and administrative decentralization. Further on, it is necessary to monitor the areas featured by strong regional and ethnic tensions. On the next stage, the joint decentralization initiative will clarify the expenditure responsibilities, local taxes, intergovernmental transfers, and user fees (Anas and Kim, 1994).
In terms of social accountability, it is important to understand how decentralization contributes to making governments more accountable before their citizens. Particular attention should be drawn to establishing effective partnerships with immediate communities, private sector, NGOs and community groups. Subsequently, it is critical to facilitate decentralization reforms by determining the key roles of the donor community. The contributors will develop a coherent strategy to support decentralization and integrate it within inter-sector projects. Finally, the issues of implementation and assessment of the outcomes as well as their impact on the goals of local development are of crucial importance. On a final stage, a decentralization action plan will be prepared to suit the expansion goals of Columbus to assess and monitor decentralization intervention strategies (Chandra and Thompson, 2000).