Our Numbers Prove Our Strength

October 12, 2012

Lamar Norton

Lamar Norton

The old adage says, “there is strength in numbers.” We have certainly found that to be true when it comes to our advocacy, but it is no less true when it comes to providing services and being more efficient.

When GMA was first formed, the founders looked to the organization as a way to influence the legislature with one voice bringing attention to the needs and concerns of city government. That remains GMA’s primary role, but over the years, our mission has expanded. As we discovered how great our voice was in the legislative arena, we also learned that cities working together can achieve significant savings, stretching precious taxpayer dollars to help deliver critical services to their citizens.

In recent years, we’ve seen cities share in resources – like specialized police services – to provide a higher level of service without incurring all of the costs. City officials also recognize that some of the problems they’re facing are not unique. Other cities and other city officials have also tackled those issues. Why not learn from them?

GMA’s training, which continues to grow each year, provides a great opportunity for officials to learn from experts in municipal government and from each other. No two classes are alike, even if they cover the same topic, because each participant brings his or her own experiences and perspectives that everyone can learn from.

Our financing program allows cities to finance new city facilities and equipment at a lower interest rate because we can pool the cities together and reduce the costs for everyone.

Through GovDeals, we have been able to introduce cities to the online auction world, where they can sell out-dated or surplus equipment and get more for their efforts than ever before. The larger audience in the online market means there are more potential buyers and greater returns to be realized.

Our services are focused on the needs of our cities. Sometimes, those needs are temporary, like negotiating a new franchise agreement or negotiating the lease of property for a cell tower. Other needs may be more long-term, like managing hotel-motel tax revenues or managing meeting documents. In all of these, our primary focus is ensuring that cities’ needs are met. We are laser focused in what we do because we only have one client - cities. We think about city operations every day. We look for ways to add value. We work to help those elected to serve be the best stewards they can be of the tax dollars entrusted to them. Our goal is to serve cities in a responsive and professional manner - everyday.

In order to provide the services cities need to get the job done, we listen to our members. We never introduce a service without first testing it, sometimes in several cities, and there have been services that we’ve ultimately decided were not a good fit for GMA to pursue.

I hope the next time your city is in need of help, you’ll look first to GMA. We are here to serve and offer strength in our numbers.