Newspaper editorial boards, including this one, have for years been calling for regionalism,consolidation and shared services among the many government bodies in the county, and across the state.
The Great Recession hit and some of those governments are beginning to realize that what might have been a choice just a few years ago has become a necessity today amid shrinking revenue, state cutbacks and rising costs of services.
Regionalism and consolidation of services have become inevitable.
Erie County officials have been out front of this, starting several years ago when emergency dispatch services for police departments were consolidated at the Erie County Sheriff's Office. County commissioners Pat Shenigo and Bill Monaghan also worked with county department heads to reduce operating expenses and the county's deficit.
The effort currently underway to establish a "one-stop" permitting shop at the Erie County Engineer's for over-the-road truckers is another good move. The permit hub would enable haulers with oversized or or overweight loads to get one permit for countywide travel, rather than be forced to obtain multiple permits based on the cargo route.