RACINE — Members of Racine-area governmental bodies east of Interstate 94 are set to come together this week to discuss working together on fire and emergency medical services as well as parks and recreation.
The gathering, set for 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Racine Theatre Guild Auditorium, 2519 Northwestern Ave., will include officials from Racine, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant and the county, according to a notice posted by the county.
They are set to convene for an informational briefing by the Wisconsin Policy Forum on its independent analysis and potential options for the county and municipalities.
It’s part of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s Resilient Communities Initiative that aims to generate support for efforts to ensure the long-term economic and social well-being of communities in the Racine area, particularly through greater local governmental cooperation.
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This initiative led to an ongoing series of resilient community roundtable discussions among county and municipal leaders, focused on exploring ways in which municipalities might work together to benefit each municipality and the region as a whole.
The Policy Forum released ideas last year about how communities could collaborate, including on emergency medical services.
An idea The Policy Forum suggested at the time was that the nearest emergency unit should automatically respond for each rescue call, regardless of whose jurisdiction a call originated in.
“This could serve either as a first step toward full consolidation or as a permanent state of affairs,” the Policy Forum researchers wrote. “Consolidation would not come without hard work and compromise, however. Issues such as differences in union contracts, fringe benefits, work rules, work schedules and staffing frameworks would need to be reconciled.”
Ideas are set to be presented Wednesday and there will be an opportunity for government officials to ask questions.
The public is welcome, but there will not be a public comment section.