Challenges for Change – Thank you!

Thank you to all of the Commissioners, Selectboard members, Planning Commission members, Municipal Managers and Administrators, and Municipal Planners who contacted our legislators to support regional and municipal planning recently. Your efforts were highly effective in achieving a positive outcome in the legislative process.

As one of the last acts before adjourning, the Legislature passed Challenges for Change. This law sets expectations for a new way of providing government services that strive to achieve savings by focusing on performance and outcomes.

Funding for RPCs, though reduced, will continue to be allocated based upon a fair and transparent funding rule intended to increase accountability and foster efficiency. In addition, each RPC will be required to respond to regional needs and increase coordination with other regional groups.

The beginning of this process was frustrating as directives to merge and consolidate with regional development corporations were put forth as the only answer. This was done without input from the affected agencies and their constituents, or a recognition that our statutory responsibilities are very different. RPCs were consistent in our testimony that innovation in regional planning and community/ economic development can and should happen in a more deliberate and thoughtful manner. Your voices provided the perfect harmony to this chorus.

CVRPC also appreciates the leadership and involvement of many members of our region’s House and Senate during the process. It is through their thoughtful engagement that the legislative process evolved to consider a broader approach to this Challenge.

CVRPC believes this legislation as passed is a positive outcome. We embrace the challenge to continuously improve regional planning and community development and identify specific ways to become even more efficient and effective. We hope that the new performance based contracts will be specific enough to hold us accountable, yet flexible enough to allow innovation.

We will be working through the summer and fall to address the legislative directives and look forward to reporting the results.

Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions as we move forward. Thank you again for your continuing support.

Sue Sinclair
Executive Director