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Thinking outside the map page 3
Viewpoints column by local government administrators about shared governmental services (Regionalism).

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Date published: 8/19/2012

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Public safety and emergency operations and planning provide many opportunities to pool resources. Local governments throughout the region enhance public safety response capability through mutual aid agreements. Planning for major incidents or emergencies is regional, assisted by the state and the regional health district. Training is also often provided regionally, through facilities such as the Rappahannock Criminal Justice Academy and the regional fire training center that serve Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg.

ENHANCING OUR ECONOMY

Despite the sometimes competitive nature of local economic development, there are plenty of efforts that enhance the economy of the region. The Fredericksburg Regional Alliance is a public-private economic development marketing partnership that works to diversify our economy and bring jobs to our area. Another example is the Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership, a marketing effort promoting tourism visitation to Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

The Tourism Partnership launched a new website promoting regional lodging, dining, heritage, cultural, and recreational attractions. Operating under the "Timeless" brand, the new website was launched in February 2012. It is located at VisitFred .com and the theme, "The Greatest Vacation in History," recurs with imagery illustrating contemporary visitors enjoying historic attractions, events, and regional offerings.

Another example is FredTech, an award-winning educational venture that helps prepare students for employment in future growth industries. The Fredericksburg Region Business Seminar and Expo is another good example of a regional economic development effort.

We could not mention regionalism without discussing our combined efforts in human services. To create a more holistic approach in evaluating the needs of at-risk children and their families, our human services staff developed an evaluation process and regional referral and update form that assists families and members of the Family Assessment and Planning Team in finding duplication and maintaining credibility among service providers. The approach provides an easy-to-understand process for families who may access services in multiple localities. The process and form are used in Stafford and Spotsylvania counties and Fredericksburg.

The young people referred to the Office on Youth provide community service to Stafford even though their crimes may have occurred in another locality or they reside in another locality. The office also partners with the R-Board for trash cleanup along the roads of Stafford County.


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Anthony Romanello is county administrator of Stafford County, Beverly Cameron is city manager of Fredericksburg, and Douglas Barnes is county administrator of Spotsylvania County.