All across the United States, communities struggle with the problem of the needs of their citizens far exceeding the public resources available to address those needs. In those same communities there are non-profit corporations that work with great passion, and frequently, with very little money, to serve the needs of particular populations in need.
Scottsdale has developed a strategy for closing the gap between needs and resources by establishing partnerships with a wide variety of non-profit service providers and furnishing them with full- or part-time office space in the City's senior centers and neighborhood centers and by providing receptionist service, copier availability, meeting space and, in some cases, funding from the CDBG Program or Scottsdale Cares.
These partnerships, established with more than 40 "brokerage" agencies and support groups, greatly expand the resources that are available to Scottsdale citizens at a very small fraction of what it would cost the City to provide those services out of local revenues. The Brokered Social Services Program has the added benefit of synergy. Once a citizen comes to a senior center or neighborhood center to participate in any of the available programs, he or she is more likely to be referred to one of the many other services or programs "right down the hall."
Brokered services assist people with counseling, employment, health services, nutrition, support groups, city services and a wide variety of miscellaneous needs. These include tax assistance, friendly visitors for seniors, guardianship review, hospice bereavement calls, tutoring, transportation and veterans' benefits assistance.
The City plans for "brokerage services" in the development of new community centers. The cost of providing shared space, copying and appointment services is minimal to the City. In exchange, the staff who assist these agencies know that they will have the on site availability of services needed by our clients. Since the City is providing facilities, the City also has some say in the level of quality of the services that are being provided. The City benefits. The agencies benefit. The taxpayer benefits. The citizen benefits.
Contact: Ginger Stribling, (602) 391-5810 or Kit Weiss, (602) 994-2375
Connect! Start! Run!
Where do our tax dollars to NASA go? Well, not all of them to outer space. Scottsdale has been working with NASA to bring federally funded technology developments back to Main Street. In March of 1994 Senator Jon Kyl (AZ), NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and City Manager Dick Bowers met in Washington to discuss how NASA's advances in remote sensing could reduce the City's costs of data acquisition for its current operational needs. Further, the City expressed interest in NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program and how global change might affect individual communities.
Scottsdale, with strong technical assistance from Dr. Phil Christensen at Arizona State University, began in late 1994 to acquire experimental data from NASA overflights using special aircraft and sensors. City investments were leveraged to acquire NASA funding for data processing and trial application development.
On July 16, 1995 remote sensed data from an inbound NASA C-130 aircraft equipped with infrared and multi-spectral scanning instruments gave firefighters a quick look at the 23,000 acre Rio Fire which had started with a lightning strike the night before. Two additional pre-dawn flights were completed as this fire continued out of control. This unusual data source pinpointed the fire perimeter and internal hot spots for the fire incident commander prior to his making daily crew assignments. The availability of highly accurate and timely data permitted heavy aerial tanker support to terminate one day earlier, which reduced the overall firefighting costs by some $250,000.
In November, 1996 Public Technology, Inc. announced a partnership with the City to commercialize an advanced version of Scottsdale's remote sensing/stormwater application software. This collaboration will move the technology developed with NASA to the private sector for final development, sales, and support.
On April 1, NASA and Scottsdale announced a joint effort to model the relationships between local sustainability and global change. This five-year program is the first to collaboratively tackle this issue of the next century.
Finally, on May 8, 1997 the City's stormwater management group saved $1.5 million by canceling a project to add unnecessary infrastructure. This decision was based on the use of newly refined NASA data sets.
Contact: Peggy Carpenter, Government Relations Coordinator, (602) 994-2683
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright ©1996, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.