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MPA 5810: Public Private Partnerships

Book Review Assignment

Using the Halvorsen (2017) book review as a model, you are to write an integrated book/article

review where you review, integrate, relate, and compare the three readings for this week. The

primary focus of your review should be Empowering the Public-Private Partnership: The Future

of America’s Local Government by Senator George Voinovich. You should relate this book to

Vogelsang-Coombs et al.’s article on PPPs in administrations of Mayors Voinovich and Jackson

and Ostrower’s article on the pitfalls of PPPs. Think about how the main argument or thesis for

each article relates to the Voinovich book. What are the main ideas, challenges, and/or lessons on

PPPs for local governments outlined in these respective readings? Your review should be four

(4) pages double-spaced.

Additional helpful hints:

The following tips are taken from Dr. Judy Millesen’s book review assignment in the MPA 6200


Writing a Book Review

A quick search on Google revealed a number of useful “guides” providing information about

how to write a book review. In general, the advice offered clusters around five key themes:

1. Read the book, the whole thing, and think about what it says – good book reviews are

intellectual statements in their own right, take the time necessary to do them well

2. Organize your thoughts and carefully consider what you want to say

3. A book review describes not summarizes – it is a critical, subjective analysis of what the

author wrote (key themes, characters, examples, conclusions, recommendations, etc.)

4. Explore the issues and respond to the content – assess the book’s themes and arguments:

are they significant, clear or obscure, relevant or dated, overdrawn or realistic?

5. Place your review within a broader context, whether that is your personal or professional

experience, current events, or other literature in the field.

Below are the links to a few of these sites:

Purdue University:

Carleton College:

St. Cloud University:

University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Concordia University:

Your book review should take the form of other reviews written for an academic audience. It

should focus on what scholars and practitioners (particularly since public administration is an

applied field) can and cannot lean from the general themes developed in the book. Book reviews

regularly appear in many of the public administration journals (e.g., Public Administration

Review, The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory).”

The Social Science Journal 54 (2017) 106–107

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

The Social Science Journal

j ourna l ho me pa g e: www.elsev ier .com/ locate /sosc i j

Book review

The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an
Age of Immigrants and Inequality
By Justin Gest; Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016,
ISBN 9780190632557, 249 pp., Paperback

Strangers in their own Land: Anger and Mourning on
the American Right
By Arlie R. Hochschild; New York, NY: The New Press,
2016, ISBN 9781620972250, 351 pp., Hard cover

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in
By J.D. Vance, New York, NY: Harpers Collins Publishers,
2016, ISBN 9780062300546, Hard cover

Many scholars are shaken and puzzled by the results
of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. These three books
provide context and explanation for understanding the
contemporary political climate. They all provide a differ-
ent lens on the same phenomena, albeit in different places,
describing both the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Hillbilly Elegy is the most accessible and least academic
of the three. It is a memoir of Vance’s childhood and early
adulthood in the Appalachian region with deep roots in
Kentucky and an area of Ohio with many Appalachian
migrants. He describes a strong working class culture
based on honor and tradition but easily derailed into self-
destruction by the loss of family wage jobs. Short on true
explanation for larger phenomena, this book is a com-
pelling, hard to put down read that might work particularly
well with undergraduates impatient with more academic
texts. It certainly does provide context for understanding
what about the American political climate resonates with
this proud, hair-trigger hillbilly culture as well as what the
American white rural working class shares with members
of the working class around the world.

Both Strangers in their Own Land and The New Minor-
ity are clearly meant to make scholarly contributions.
Hochschild relies on qualitative ethnographic data, while
Gest uses both qualitative ethnographic and quantitative
survey-based data. Both books make explicit mention and

explanation of the political emergence of Donald Trump
and both provide deep explanation for the local and global
rise of the anger and far right political ideals among mem-
bers of the working class.

Hochschild uses the region of Louisiana’s “chemi-
cal corridor” to understand and explain a conservative,
church-bound culture battered by both economic and lit-
eral storms and damaged by the loss of a treasured natural
landscape of water and woods to pollution and geological
subsidence that destroyed a community due to removal of
underground minerals for industrial activities. Hochschild,
experienced in developing deep cultural understandings
through ethnographic research, dives into this world from
her very different home base in Berkeley, California. She
gathers data by attending church services, partaking of
local food and hospitality, and becoming (as she describes
their relationships) friends with people living very different
lives from her own.

The conundrum she sets out to resolve is this: of all
people, the folks she studies are the ones who “should”
question allegiance to an anti-environmental protection
state government and U.S. Republican platform. They can
no longer safely swim in, fish from, or boat on trea-
sured waterways. The fish are poisoned, the frogs gone,
and the water badly polluted. Why, then, have most
locals remained deeply wedded to the anti-environmental
agenda of the Tea and Republican parties? Some have
even become staunch environmental activists, while also
remaining avid churchgoers and Tea Party members.

As Hochschild explains it, this dissonance results from
culture, prioritization, and the underlying “deep stories” of
the region that see others (immigrants, minorities, urban
liberals, the underserving poor) as unfairly “cutting ahead”
in the line to prosperity. This is a culture that prioritizes
the church and views time on earth as a temporary step
toward heaven. Thus, environmental contamination, while
disappointing, has limited implications. In addition, in a
region filled with poverty and grounded in a myth of free-
dom from government dependence (in fact the state takes
in far more money in federal payments than it pays out in
federal taxes), a belief in the triumvirate of family, faith,
and the market makes this a reasonable tradeoff. Pollu-
tion is an expected and acceptable cost of family wage
chemical plant jobs. The people who reject this argu-
ment are seen as devoid of roots in all that this culture
treasures: urban (to the region’s rurality), “unchurched”

(to a strong tradition of “being churched”), and lacking
a strong connection to traditional family structure (in a
region that holds family as one of the most important insti-

ok revie





Gest’s The New Minority focuses on explaining differ-
nt political participation strategies by understanding the
orking class cultures of the “rust belt” communities of
oungstown, Ohio in the United States and specific East
ondon neighborhoods. Both sets of communities are in
evere economic decline due to decades of working class
ob losses. The East London neighborhoods voted over-

helming for Brexit. However, it is interesting to note that
n the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Mahoning County,
he county in which Youngstown sits, Hillary Clinton won
9.8% of the vote to Trump’s 46.8%, although Ohio went on
o vote overwhelmingly for Trump resulting in his winning
he state’s electoral votes.

Gest’s focus on political participation leads his atten-
ion to understanding why residents of these communities

ake the choices they do. He differentiates between active,
assive, pro-system, and anti-system stances and actions.
est argues that an active pro-system stance leads to polit-

cal engagement while a passive pro-system one leads to
itting out and not participating. On the other hand, an
ctive anti-system stance causes individuals to rebel while

passive anti-system position leads them to withdraw.
est contrasts withdrawal with sitting out because the for-
er causes people to withdraw in disgust while sitting out

s more of a position of relative satisfaction and a feel-
ng that things are running well enough not to need “my
ote.” Further, Gest helps the reader to understand why
oungstowners and East Londoners might choose to be
ither passive or active. It is worth noting that rebelling
s exactly what Trump voters did in the U.S., with many
f them explicitly stating that their goal was to blow up a

olitical system that does not represent them.

In combination, the books provide a portrait of a slice
f society for whom life is getting worse, generation after
eneration. As Gest shows, individual responses to this

w 107

situation vary; those who have faith in the political sys-
tem representing them will either engage or sit things
out, while those who do not will rebel or withdraw.
Hochschild’s Louisiana friends can also be seen as rebelling,
choosing the Tea Party and Donald Trump to foster radi-
cal change in the hopes it will move them to their rightful
place in line, a move the mainstream two party system
fails to provide. Vance’s hillbillies, thought of in light of
Gest’s argument, are more likely to sit it out, perhaps
rebelling in their personal lives but politically inactive.
While the liberal-conservative divide in the U.S. seems to
elude understanding and continually expand, these books
help readers better bridge the gap.

Dense with data, Gest’s book provides the most abstract,
theoretically-grounded explanations. Hochschild’s work
does the best job of making what may a fairly “strange”
culture to many academic readers seem familiar, sympa-
thetic, and, ultimately, understandable. Vance’s portrait is
the most intimate, but least explanatory. The three might
be an interesting combination for a graduate class in polit-
ical sociology or other upper level courses in sociology or
political science. While the Gest text might be a bit chal-
lenging for undergraduates, both Hochschild’s and Vance’s
work would likely work well in a wide variety of under-
graduate social science classes. Hochschild’s book would
also fit very well into more courses focused on environ-
mental issues in policy, geography, or sociology.

Kathleen E. Halvorsen
Department of Social Sciences and the School

of Forest Resources and Environmental

Science, Michigan Technological University,

E-mail address:

Available online 2 February 2017


it. … I don’t need partnership funds. I need $50,000 to
address our needs,” said the director of a performing
arts organization. His organization had partnered with
other performing arts groups because a community
foundation had required collaboration to receive a grant.
“I’m not sure the partnership paradigm works the way
we all individually need,” he continued bluntly. “We
don’t have the same needs. … None of us are really sat-
isfied with the results. Maybe we should go to [the foun-
dation] and say, ‘We know you like partnerships, but

The Reality
the Buzz


The potentials

and pitfalls of












here are our needs and they may be different.’”
When studying partnerships promoted by a group of foun-

dations to broaden, deepen, and diversify cultural participation
in local communities, we repeatedly came across cases in which
the partnerships’ realities did not coincide with their intended
goals. The above example is one of the most dramatic, but it
illustrates a common theme: For foundations that funded these
grantees, partnerships seemed a powerful way to achieve cul-
tural-participation goals. Yet the intended goals often were not
achieved, and some of the partnerships’ most significant ben-
efits were unanticipated. Why? Steven Kerr’s seminal paper, “On
the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B,” provides an
important clue. Kerr drew attention to a common irony in
organizational life: the tendency for organizations to reward
behaviors unrelated or even antithetical to the goals managers
hope to achieve.1 This sort of goal displacement – where means
become ends – occurs in all organizations, including nonprof-
its and foundations. Grantmakers who promote partnerships
may be particularly prone to “Kerr’s folly.” Unwittingly, the
funders we studied had come to see partnering – which is no
more than a method – as an end in itself. In doing so, they were
hardly unique. There is a tendency in the philanthropic world
to assume that collaboration has intrinsic value and effective-
ness, and to expect partnership to serve as a solution, often to
problems that have not even been well defined.2

Partnering has become increasingly fashionable among
grantmakers. In a recent study of how foundations define and
approach effectiveness, the Urban Institute surveyed 1,192
grantmakers. Sixty-nine percent reported they actively encour-
aged collaboration among grantees. Forty-two percent of these
said they sometimes required partnering as a condition for fund-

At first blush, the way foundations speak of partnership
makes it seem as if they are hardheaded instrumentalists inter-
ested in efficiency and rationality. But on second glance, one can
also see that their passion for collaboration often continues
unabated even when they have evidence that partnering has not
produced the outcomes they desired. My purpose here is not

to criticize partnering, but to plead for greater realism about part-
nering’s benefits and limitations. We must cease invoking part-
nering as a panacea and begin to treat it simply as one method
among many for achieving a foundation’s or a nonprofit’s goals.

A Study of Partnering

In 1998, the Wallace Foundation launched an initiative, Com-
munity Partnerships for Cultural Participation (CPCP), to
encourage community foundations to expand audience-build-
ing programs and provide direct support for local cultural orga-
nizations and artists. CPCP funds were distributed in two steps:
Wallace first gave money to 10 community foundations, which
in turn made grants to local nonprofits. The foundations funded
38 distinct partnerships between cultural organizations as part
of the CPCP initiative.

The Wallace Foundation also commissioned the Urban
Institute to evaluate CPCP. One part of this evaluation consisted
of documenting, in 2001, the fortunes of half (19) of the part-
nerships between cultural organizations funded by five differ-
ent community foundations.3 All five encouraged partnerships
and three required them. We purposefully sampled alliances with
different goals, alliances that were considered successful as well
as some that were not, and partnerships between organiza-
tions of similar and different size. All collaborations involved
either arts (theater companies, musical groups, and dance
troupes) or humanities (historical societies, history museums,
libraries) institutions. Six were African-American and five were
Latino organizations. All partnerships aimed at expanding cul-
tural participation and diversifying audiences by mounting an
activity, event, or program (producing a new exhibit, staging a
new performance, or giving a performance in a new venue for
a different audience, for instance). We interviewed staff in the
five community foundations as well as at 45 of the organizations
that took part in the 19 partnerships. In 16 collaborations, we
interviewed representatives of every partner.4

Why Partner?

Grantees and funders agreed on three major reasons for why
they believed collaboration was an appropriate strategy for
community development and cultural participation.

Organizational Capacity. Funders and nonprofits viewed
partnerships as an effective way to build organizational capac-
ity. “Partnerships help to expand resources and help you accom-
plish and expand on what you are doing,” claimed one foun-
dation interviewee. “The only way is through partnership,” she
said. Grantees agreed that partnerships help build capacity. For


FRANCIE OSTROWER, Ph.D., is a sociologist and senior research

associate at the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

She is the author of “Trustees of Culture: Power, Wealth, and Status on

Elite Arts Boards,” “Foundation Effectiveness: Definitions and Chal-

lenges,” “Partnerships Between Large and Small Cultural Organizations:

A Strategy for Building Arts Participation,” and numerous other publica-

tions on nonprofits, philanthropy, and cultural organizations. She is vice

president for publications and board member of ARNOVA. She can be

reached at

For foundations that funded these grantees, partnerships

seemed a powerful way to achieve cultural-participation goals.

Yet the intended goals often were not achieved. STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW 37

instance, because it had partnered with
a large theater, a small but fast-growing
Latino theater hired a professional grant
writer (obtained through its partner)
who successfully raised new funds for the
Latino group, and strengthened its
accounting procedures. Conversely,
because the Latino theater gave its mail-
ing list to the larger theater, the larger
organization was able to attract more Latinos.

Partnerships also helped some grantees expand program-
ming. For instance, one foundation made a partnership grant
to help a theater “develop … its own core programming.” As
a result of partnering with an arts presenter, a history museum
expanded its horizons to include more arts programming: “Our
partner kicked us out of our institutional lethargy. We’re pre-
senting a lot of poetry and music in the exhibit, which we
don’t usually do.”

Engaging New Audiences. Funders also praised partnerships
as a way to bridge the divide between arts groups and the
wider community, thereby expanding and diversifying audi-
ences. “If your purpose is to reach out into the community,” a
foundation executive told us matter-of-factly, “then you are
going to need a partnership.” The education director of a
museum agreed: “I’m big on relationship-forming and we’ve
formed strong relations with Latino organizations that we
would not have had without this partnership. … Here I was, a
white girl, wanting to do this project. [Because of the partner-
ship] we could tap into connections that we’d not have had.”

Building Organizational Networks. Finally, grantmakers told
us they used partnerships to encourage nonprofits to expand
their networks, thereby sparking future collaboration and
reducing isolation in the arts world. “Partnerships build social
capital. If you have relationships that build from reaching a goal,
then you have a chance to build on these in the future,” explained
the grantmaker. Some grantees reported making new con-
nections through their partners. For instance, one dance group
“made new friends to draw on” through its partners, including
an inner-city school, which the dance group subsequently
turned to for testing a pilot outreach program in schools.

Where the Paths Diverge

When funders and grantees talk about partnerships in general
terms, they sound quite similar. Everyone knows the proper
rhetoric of partnering and seems to agree that partnering is use-
ful for building organizational capacity, for enlarging audiences,
for expanding networks, and for mounting programs that are

too much for a single organization to do on its own. But when
talk turns practical, crucial differences emerge.

Efficiency. Funders argued that partnerships increase effi-
ciency by discouraging duplication and encouraging grantees
to pool resources. Said one: “There are some efficiencies and
competencies that you get to more quickly. People have a lot
to share.” Said another: “The trustees like to see organizations
being more efficient in their work. If I say to trustees, ‘It’s a part-
nership,’ that’s good. They’re not duplicating, but sharing

Grantees were less likely to embrace the idea that partner-
ships bring efficiencies and many noted that partnering was time-
consuming and costly. As one put it: “To collaborate takes so
much more time, effort, patience. … People work so hard just
to keep their own organization running. … Then, with collab-
oration, they’re maxed out.”

To Obtain Grant Funds. Few grantees said they entered a part-
nership solely for a grant, but some did, and many said they would
not have formed their partnership in the absence of a grant. For
instance, prior to joining a partnership, a theater was turned
down for an individual grant. The theater’s director admitted:
“After being turned down, I was happy for our organization to
be partnered. … [But,] this partnership would not have been
formed, nor would we have formed something similar, with-
out the grant.” When asked whether the museum would have
collaborated to reach at-risk youth without a grant, a member
of the museum’s staff said: “Probably not at that time. It gave
us quick money to put this together.” She then added: “The spirit
of the whole [grant program] is collaboration. I don’t think that
our application would have been competitive if not for a part-
nership.” The director of another museum admitted forming
a partnership for an activity (producing educational materials)

TALK BACK: Do you agree or disagree
with this article? Join our online forum at


Reasons Foundations Reasons Grantees Engage
Support Partnerships in Partnerships

Build organizational capacity, Build organizational capacity, horizons,
horizons, growth growth

Expand and diversify audiences Expand and diversify audiences

Expand organizational networks Expand organizational networks

Achieve efficiency by avoiding Obtain grant funds seen as otherwise
duplication unavailable

that it had already done alone,
because having a partner
increased the odds of being

Although all of the founda-
tions told us they wanted to sup-
port “genuine” partnerships and
avoid ventures formed solely to
obtain funds, it would appear that
in some cases they were unwit-
tingly encouraging precisely such
behavior by providing incentives
that ironically put creating part-
nerships before cultural partici-
pation. In short, foundations were
more at risk of rewarding A while
hoping for B than they believed.

Why Weren’t Partnerships
More Successful?

At the most global level, all of the
partnerships succeeded: None
defaulted and virtually all deliv-
ered the promised projects, reach-
ing at least some of their goals.
Most grantees had a positive expe-
rience and at least half reported
warm relations and ongoing con-
tact with their former partners.
Yet despite claims that the part-
nerships yielded anticipated and
unanticipated benefits, there was
considerable evidence that a sig-
nificant number of partnerships were less collaborative and suc-
cessful than funders had hoped. Particularly telling, once fund-
ing ended so did most of the partnerships, including those that
were meant to be long term. In none of the six partnerships that
were ongoing at the time of the interviews did all members
express a desire to continue beyond the grant period.

Insufficient Resources and Funding. Grants often did not
cover the full cost of partnering. Grantees told us that collabo-
rations were time-consuming, carried hidden costs, and redirected
resources in unanticipated ways. The leaders of a small arts
presenter told us that their grant “gave nothing for administra-
tive costs” and covered less than 60 percent of the project’s
expenses. Another complained: “Our staff is hard-pressed with
these partnerships. A large organization can spread the burden

among several people, but that isn’t possible for a small organi-
zation.” Larger institutions also complained about the financial
burden of partnering. A senior staff member of a museum
explained: “It was very staff-intensive to do the relationship
building. Luckily, [our organization’s] budget supported a staff
person to work on this. But it required more time, and the
grant did not cover the cost.” Moreover, funding was often not
adequate to cover the partnership’s stated goals. Partners in
one collaboration, for instance, acknowledged that their audi-
ence-diversification goals had not been achieved and realisti-
cally could not have been without a longer time frame and
additional funds.

Tangential to Mission. Grantees also thought that founda-
tions sometimes prized partnerships even when the partnership’s


“The trustees like to see organizations being more

trustees, ‘It’s a partnership,’ that’s good.”











purpose was tangential to the grantee’s primary mission. A vet-
eran of a partnership that sought, but failed, to engage children
in the arts said: “I think that collaboration is often overused. …
Collaboration was mandated for this grant. So everyone called
everyone, and scrambled to get a partner.” He freely admitted
that his organization had agreed to partner on a project focused
on an audience in whom it was not interested solely because
of the grant.

Grantees clearly bore responsibility for entering partnerships
that were tangential to their missions. A large performing arts
group with a predominantly white staff and audience formed
a partnership with minority organizations to help diversify the
organizations’ audiences. All participants were positive about
the collaboration, but the partnership ended with the grant. The

director of the performing arts group expressed uncertainty
about whether he would have wanted to continue even if
money had been available. “It’s hard to identify lasting projects,
because [our goals] are so disparate. These programs, and the
partnership, are important, but they are not our mission, which
is to provide the best [art].”

Logistical Difficulties. Partnering also proved to be logis-
tically difficult for some grantees. Logistics, such as schedul-
ing meetings, were especially troublesome in collaborations
between large organizations with professional staff and small,
volunteer-run groups. Professional staff expected to meet
during the day, but those meetings conflicted with the paid jobs
of volunteers. In one case, the volunteer director of a small
dance group was unable to benefit fully from the opportunity
to observe how a large ballet company functions by “shad-
owing” staff because he had to work during the day.

Logistics could be difficult even when all partners had
paid professional staff. Directors of smaller organizations
complained that handling different aspects of a partnership
required them to meet with multiple staff at the larger orga-
nization and that it was sometimes a challenge just to find out
who was in charge. Conversely, staff from larger organizations
expressed frustration that smaller partners had only one per-
son with whom they could deal. When that person was
unavailable, progress came to a halt.

The director of a nonprofit in a three-way collaboration
spoke of the frustrations of communicating and scheduling
meetings due to travel schedules and the distance between the
organizations: “Working with one partner is challenging
enough. Working with two increases the challenge exponen-
tially. Issues of communication and transportation, the time
required for making decisions, and the time needed to arrange
a meeting – all of these become profoundly affected by the
inclusion of three partners.”

Contention Between Partners. Some partnerships experi-
enced tension when members felt they were not treated fairly
or equitably, or clearly differed in their expectations about each
other’s roles, responsibilities, and influence. For instance, a
senior staff member of a large institution who partnered with
a small African-American arts organization argued: “We did
more of the work here, involved more people, time, and
resources. [Our partner, however,] saw this as a 50-50 arrange-
ment. We said, ‘Be realistic.’ We have 300 to 400 full-time staff,
and [they have] four. … Did they have to be 50-50 in every-
thing?” The head of the smaller organization insisted, “We’re
equal.” He emphasized that his larger partner could not have
conducted the project, which was designed to attract mem-
bers of the African-American community, alone.

efficient in their work. If I say to

The Underlying Problem

Although misplaced incentives, inadequate funds, inappropri-
ate objectives, and logistical difficulties certainly mattered, all
pointed to a deeper problem. Foundations seemed to encour-
age, and sometimes mandate, partnerships not necessarily
because partnering was the best way to achieve a particular set
of objectives given a specific context and problem, but because
partnering fulfilled the foundations’ view of how the social sec-
tor should operate. Evidence of an ideological commitment to
partnerships surfaced time and again in our interviews. For
instance, one foundation executive told us that in “real part-
nerships,” money was beside the point, arguing that although
grants helped build collaboration, if partners were truly com-
mitted they would continue the partnership regardless of funds.
What this grantmaker failed to appreciate was that few part-
nerships were so central to the grantees’ missions that they
would divert funds from other activities to sustain them.

One grantmaker acknowledged that partnerships were
sometimes less effective than individual initiatives, but staunchly
defended the foundation’s policy of requiring grantees to col-
laborate. Another foundation’s representative conceded that
some CPCP projects could have been carried out by a single orga-
nization, but she quickly added that they would have been less
successful and have had fewer “spillover effects” if done alone.
Yet, when pressed, she could think of no examples to illustrate
her point. In short, foundations readily admitted that partner-
ships were challenging and had limitations. But in practice they
seemed to take partnering’s benefits for granted while over-
looking its limitations.

Most of the partnerships we studied would not have been
formed in the absence of foundation support, and when the
funds were gone, the partnerships dissolved. Yet foundation staff
at times seemed unaware of the consequences and even the
terms of their policies. The staff of one foundation reported that
they did not actively encourage partnerships, yet partnering was
a requirement for receiving their large grants! The staff of
another foundation proudly told us that the CPCP program had
changed their grantees’ attitudes about partnering, yet some of
those very grantees said that they agreed to partner only because
the foundation required it. The grantees, at least, seemed to
understand that although the foundations may have been hop-
ing for B, they were clearly rewarding A.

Lessons for Forming Partnerships

In theory, foundations are right: Partnerships can be a power-
ful tool for strengthening cultural participation and expanding
audiences. But partnerships are tools; they are not ends in them-

selves. Partnerships are not appropriate for every task, and they
will not work if used incorrectly. The experience of CPCP par-
ticipants counsels that more attention needs to be paid to when
and how to use partnerships. A clear and consistent message is
that foundations may be overusing partnerships. Another is
that partnering is costly, so partners and funders need to be real-
istic about the time, the money, and the commitment required
in light of their goals.

Foundations and grantees need to adopt a more hardheaded
stance on whether partnering is warranted, given the objective
at hand. Partnerships are costly both in terms of time and
money, and experience shows again and again that they are a
poor strategy for reducing costs. Nor are partnerships morally
superior to lone action. Instead, partnering is warranted, when
two or more organizations have complementary missions,
when they can bring different resources to the table, and when
those resources are crucial for achieving the objective. Partnering
may also be warranted when an objective can only be achieved
through collective action and when the partners are truly com-
mitted to the objective.

Planning. Assuming that a particular goal warrants forming
a partnership, our study suggests that grantmakers and grantees
would benefit significantly from more planning prior to initi-
ating a partnership. In fact, it might behoove foundations to pro-
vide planning grants to give potential partners the time and
incentive to explore more fully both the feasibility and the costs
of partnering. Waiting until partners are ready to partner before
fully funding a project is both financially and programmatically
more sound than providing the funds and hoping for the best.
Foundations also need to develop detailed and realistic criteria
for assessing readiness, criteria that may need to be tailored to
the specifics of the program. Certainly one criterion needs to
be an assessment of whether the potential benefits of collabo-
ration are truly congruent with every party’s needs and mission.

Grantees contemplating partnerships would also be well
advised to scrutinize the reality of partnering closely. Prior to
committing to a partnership, nonprofits need to work out each
partner’s role, responsibilities, and goals. Skipping or skimping
on this planning stage is a false economy. The head of a small
grassroots organization attributed the success of its partnership
largely to a planning process that was required and funded by
the foundation: “If we didn’t spend the time, hard as that was,
to get things verbalized and have people get a sense of each other,
it would have been hard. I didn’t feel that what I said was inval-
idated because I’m a little guy, and I think that was partly
because we had a chance to get to know each other through
work sessions.”

When planning, a nonprofit needs be honest about the


level of commitment it can offer, whether the partnership really
fits its mission, and whether the partnership justifies the resources
that it will consume. Especially for cross-ethnic partnerships and
those pairing large institutions with small, establishing clarity
about rewards, responsibilities, and influence at the outset is crit-
ical in avoiding problems with mutual respect, rewards, and influ-
ence down the line. Foundations should carefully scrutinize these
agreements to ensure that a clear partnership structure in which
all partners contribute and benefit is in place. Likewise, it is essen-
tial that a plan be worked out concerning how administrative
and coordination issues (communications, meetings) will be han-
dled. For larger projects, foundations should consider funding
a mediator or consultant who can help potential partners with
their planning process. Funders should consider whether to give
the smaller organization additional funds to lessen the admin-
istrative burden and help free up limited staff time so that they
can participate more fully in the partnership.

In short, a planning process is needed to ensure that part-
ners have really assessed the advisability of the partnership
beforehand, worked through difficult issues about rewards and
responsibilities before the actual project begins, and are clear
about each other’s commitments and expectations. In the
process, they can surface potential tensions and difficulties at the
outset – find ways to work around them, or decide they are too
severe to warrant continuing before they go further.

Account for Costs. Potential partners need to be hard-nosed
about a potential partnership’s actual costs and how much is cov-
ered by the grant. Grantees need to ask whether they have the
capacity to handle the responsibilities of collaboration, includ-
ing whether they can afford to divert staff time and other
resources from other activities. Potential partners also need to
negotiate openly how costs will be distributed, especially if the
partners differ dramatically in size and resources.

Foundations also need to recognize that partnerships are usu-
ally less of a bargain than they think. To ensure the success of
a partnership, foundations must be willing to cover administrative
costs and, in the case of large projects, they may need to con-
sider funding a partnership manager. In one interesting case, a
foundation actually changed its funding policies after recognizing

the real costs of partnering. Originally, it awarded the same
amount of money for single- and multi-organization grants.“It
didn’t work. … We changed. … If a typical grant is $25,000, then
you must double it or quadruple it for a partnership. You need
to consider that. It’s an easy trap, but you must increase that mon-
etary amount, and foundations should be mindful.”

Partnerships involving small organizations are likely to
require additional funds to ensure that the organizations’ capac-
ities are not strained by participation. Ultimately, however, to ade-
quately meet the costs of encouraging partnerships, foundations
need to face up to the fact that if they want to achieve ambitious
goals – like the diversification of audiences – they may need to
fund fewer partnerships at higher levels for longer periods of time.

The most important thing foundations and grantees must
keep in mind is what they want to accomplish substantively –
and then think about what incentives and methods will truly
bring those ends about. This requires relinquishing the hope that
partnering – or any other method – will magically produce cost-
effective solutions to complex problems or reduce the necessity
of making hard choices about accomplishing priorities with finite
resources. Doing so will help foundations and nonprofits alike
avert the ever-present risk of falling prey to “Kerr’s folly.”

The author is grateful to the Wallace Foundation for funding the study on

which this article is based and to the Urban Institute for support to write

this article.

1 Kerr, S. “On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B,” Academy of Manage-
ment Journal 18, no. 4 (1975): 769-783.
2 Foundations today are apparently falling prey to the same tendency Janet Weiss
identified in 1981 among government policymakers: passionate advocacy of
“coordination” among human service agencies, despite clear evidence of the flaws
and failures of this strategy. Weiss argued that policymakers continued to heed the
“siren call of coordination remedies” because of coordination’s value as a symbol
that “epitomizes widely shared social values of rationality, comprehensiveness,
and efficiency.” (“Substance vs. Symbol in Administrative Reform: The Case of
Human Services Coordination,” Policy Analysis 7, no. 1 [1981]:21-46.) Partnerships
have similarly assumed a symbolic value among foundations today.
3 Additional information on this and other parts of the CPCP initiative and evalua-
tion is available at
4 Ten partnerships were between two organizations. Four partnerships involved
three organizations. One had four partners, and four had five or more partners.

ssessing the degree to which
the CPCP partnerships suc-
ceeded is extremely difficult.
The difficulty begins with

deciding which criteria to use. Evalua-
tors could focus on general criteria like
fostering collaboration, expanding
networks, diversifying audiences, or
creating new programs. Evaluators
might also target specific, operational
outcomes: for example, bringing more
cultural events to minority communi-
ties or attracting more people to a

library or museum.
But even if evaluators could agree

on criteria, assessment is hampered by
not only the slipperiness of social aims
but also the lack of data. As is often the
case with nonprofits, CPCP partners
rarely collected the kind of data neces-
sary for determining whether a partner-
ship had really achieved its goals. For
instance, a museum launched a pro-
gram specifically intended to increase
minority attendance. When asked
whether the program had been success-

ful, a staff member said, “We have
some sense that the audience has
become more diverse – we think
because of the collaboration with [our
partner] and other minority groups.”
He explained they have no way of
knowing, though, because they can’t
determine demographics and atten-
dance for individual programs. Thus,
organizations often had no way to doc-
ument the results of their most con-
crete objectives.

To Measure the Success of a Partnership

Vogelsang-Coombs, V., Denihan, W. M., & Baur, M. F. (2016). The transformative effect of
public-private partnerships: An inside view of good government under Mayors Voinovich and
Jackson. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 2(2), 101-126. doi:10.20899/jpna.2.2.101-


Governance Symposium

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private
Partnerships: An Inside View of Good Government
Under Mayors Voinovich and Jackson
Vera Vogelsang-Coombs – Cleveland State University
William M. Denihan – Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board
Melanie F. Baur – Cleveland State University

This paper focuses on two mayoral-led public-private partnerships designed to renew good
government in Cleveland, Ohio: Mayor George Voinovich’s Operations Improvement Task
Force (OITF) (1979–1982) and Mayor Frank Jackson’s Operations Efficiency Task Force (OETF)
(2006–2009). The Voinovich OITF public-private partnership enabled Cleveland to “come back”
after the city’s 1978 default. The Jackson OETF public-private partnership successfully right-
sized Cleveland in relationship to its much smaller population needs during challenging
economic times without disruptions in service. The authors use three data sources, including
interviews with both mayors and their key partnership managers, to gain a complete inside
picture of each mayoral-led public-private partnership. The paper concludes with the lessons
learned and the governance implications of a mayoral-led public-private partnership in
fostering a long-term (transformative) administrative change. This paper shows how both
mayoral-led public-private partnerships quietly transformed Cleveland’s government to meet
the demands of fewer resources, greater complexity, more transparency, and more timely
decisions in the delivery of public services to citizens.

Keywords: Operations Improvement, Public-Private Partnerships, Urban Change

Editor’s Note: We are saddened to announce that Dr. Vera Vogelsang-Coombs died in
February 2016. In her memory, we are pleased to publish this article posthumously. At the
time of her passing, the article was in the review process. Aside from copy-editing, no revisions
have been made to the article since its initial submission.

To avoid fiscal insolvency while modernizing municipal operations to fit shrinking and changing
population needs, Mayor George Voinovich and Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland, Ohio, have
used public-private partnerships to tap into business, nonprofit, and community-based
resources to secure a new and positive future for Clevelanders. Specifically, this paper analyzes
Mayor Voinovich’s Operations Improvement Task Force (OITF) (1979–1982) and Mayor
Jackson’s Operations Efficiency Task Force (OETF) (2006–2009) from the inside out. Based on
this inside-out approach, we show how and why the two mayoral-led public-private partnerships
were indispensable to successful management of urban change and the renewal of good
government in Cleveland.

Public-private partnerships are elusive to define (Mendel & Brudney, 2012). After conducting an
extensive review of the literature, Ansell and Gash (2008) identified 137 public-partnership
cases, but they varied significantly as for their leadership, goals, resources, operations, citizen
engagement, and impacts. For the sake of this analysis, we use the definition of public-
partnerships formulated by Mayor Voinovich. In 1979, he was the first big-city mayor to bring
together, on a large scale, public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders to work cooperatively to
restore the people’s confidence in city government after a major debacle—Cleveland’s default.
For him, a public-private partnership aimed at improving municipal operations meant good
government because:

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Business, nonprofit organizations, and foundations must respond
to the call for help from the public sector or suggest on their own
initiative their willingness to support the public sector with human
capital resources and/or financial resources…The opportunity for
interaction between the public and private sectors allows for
progress to be made in improving the city’s government and the
community as a whole,…In a time of decreasing funding from the
federal and state governments, if our cities are to survive and
succeed… (Voinovich, 2013).

Our paper has two research objectives. One is to identify the distinctive good government
characteristics of Mayor Voinovich’s OITF public-partnership that enabled Cleveland to come
back after the municipal default caused the city’s economic engine to sputter (Steiner, 1999).
The second objective is to identify the distinctive good government characteristics of Mayor
Jackson’s OETF public-private partnership that successfully right-sized Cleveland’s government
during trying economic times, including the Great Recession of 2008, without disruptions in
municipal services to residents.

Our analysis is organized into five sections. The first section describes five good government
partnerships that frame our analysis of the Voinovich OITF partnership and the Jackson OETF
partnership. The Cleveland setting and the research methodology are discussed in the second
section. The third and fourth sections show how Mayors Voinovich and Jackson used the five
good government partnership behaviors in implementing the OITF and the OETF partnerships
to transform Cleveland successfully. The lessons learned and the governance implications of the
mayoral-led public-private partnership are presented in the fifth section.

Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors

Our analysis of the Voinovich OITF and the Jackson OETF partnerships is grounded in the
network scholarship of McGuire and Agranoff. McGuire and Agranoff (2011) define a public
management network as one type of collaborative activity involving multiple organizations and
multiple perspectives; these organizations join together to solve a major problem that a single
entity cannot solve easily or by acting alone. However, public management networks are not
panaceas because they have severe limitations, not the least of which is inertia. Therefore,
McGuire and Agranoff encourage researchers to study how public management networks can be
effectively managed to overcome inertia and deliver results.

Accordingly, our study of the two mayoral-led public-private partnerships in Cleveland
examines their inside operations in terms of four network management behaviors identified by
McGuire and Agranoff (2014)—activating, mobilizing, framing, and synthesizing. Thus, our
research question is as follows: Do the public-private partnerships of Cleveland Mayors
Voinovich and Jackson aimed at operations improvement to avoid fiscal insolvency involve the
behaviors of activating, mobilizing, framing, and synthesizing? Our research also reveals that
the Cleveland mayors adopted a fifth network management behavior that we define as
sustaining the public-private partnership results. Each management behavior is defined briefly
in turn.

First, activation focuses on the mayor’s leadership philosophy, and his partnership vision of
operations improvement that requires speedy action to address an urgent municipal fiscal

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


situation. Activating behaviors also refer to the mayor’s incorporation of key persons and
stakeholders who take charge of organizing the governance of the public-private partnership.

Second, mobilization focuses on the mayor’s leadership in cultivating the internal and external
support for his public-private partnership vision of operations improvement. Thus, mobilization
activities generate commitments for securing the information, financial, and human resources
needed to operationalize the partnership. An essential aspect of mobilization is the identification
of partnership champions and process leaders. Champions are those who sell the public-private
partnership idea internally to department heads and city employees and to the external
community, including funders, municipal unions, civic groups, elected officials, and county
officials; process leaders are the vision keepers who are responsible for the day-to-day
management of the public-private partnership.

Third, framing behaviors translate the partnership vision and the commitments for operations
improvement into municipal policies and practices. Framing also focuses on building the
capacity of partnership external volunteer participants and city employees through training and
development. Furthermore, framing includes the establishment of an operations improvement
coordinator responsible for monitoring the implementation of the change proposals emerging
from the study phase of the partnership process. These framing activities incorporate the
practices of professional management into a work culture of delivering excellent city service.

Fourth, synthesizing activities enhance the work conditions that lead to a collaborative
environment and productive interactions among the internal and external partnership
members. In other words, through synthesis, the mayor and his partnership managers remove
the obstacles and create opportunities for the participants to build relationships of trust so that
they can focus on the achievement of results. In effect, synthesis behaviors develop a citywide
orientation among internal participants that culminate in the successful completion of the
partnership’s goals and objectives.

Fifth, sustaining behaviors integrate the public-private partnerships methodology of operations
improvement into day-to-day municipal governance, resulting in long-term (transformational)
urban change. The integration of the partnership’s methodology into day-to-day municipal
administration makes it less likely for long-term city employees to view operations improvement
as the “pet project” of a short-term mayor whose term in office is limited.

Research Setting and Methodology

The research setting for our analysis of the two mayoral-led public-private partnerships focuses
on Cleveland, Ohio, in 1979 and 2006. Our single-city setting is consistent with Mendel and
Brudney’s (2012) argument that this method controls for contextual differences inside public-
private partnerships. Given our long view of Cleveland’s partnership history, we can
differentiate between the short- and long-term (transformational) impacts of the Voinovich
OITF partnership and the Jackson OETF partnership, respectively. In this way, our analysis
deepens understanding of how the two public-private partnerships successfully helped the city
of Cleveland adapt to a changing environment.

Our research uses multiple data sources to provide an inside view of Cleveland’s public-private
partnerships. The first source is the Voinovich Documents Collection in the Ohio University
Library. The Voinovich archives reveal a hidden history of the key actors who worked on Mayor
Voinovich’s OITF partnership nearly 40 years ago. The second source is a document analysis.

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


We use information gathered from the private collection of Mayor Voinovich and the senior
authors who served as volunteers on Mayor Jackson’s OETF partnership. Personal interviews
are the third data source. Besides interviewing Mayor Voinovich and Mayor Jackson, we
gathered information from seven key leaders associated with the Voinovich OITF and Jackson
OETF partnerships.1

The Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors in the Voinovich OITF

Table 1 organizes the milestone activities of Mayor Voinovich’s OITF partnership by the five
good government behaviors listed in the top row. The first column divides the Voinovich OITF
partnership into four phases: (1) the formation of the public-private partnership concept; (2) the
development of the OITF partnership; (3) the partnership operations; and (4) the partnership’s
follow-up activities.

Activating Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich (1979)

Studying government through public-private partnerships inhered in Mayor Voinovich’s work
ethic. Steiner (1999) described Voinovich as a calm public servant who applied a thoughtful,
analytical, and nonpartisan approach to every challenge. Steiner also observed that Voinovich
consistently empowered others to help him set a course of action that was best for making a
positive difference in the lives of citizens. Voinovich summarized this leadership philosophy of
empowerment as “Together We Can Do It” as follows:

I believe government’s highest calling is to empower people and
galvanize their energy and resources to help solve our problems,
meet our challenges, and seize our opportunities. I also believe it’s
a leader’s role to reach deep into every individual, draw out the
goodness that’s inside, and inspire people to use that goodness to
help themselves, their families, and their communities (cited in
Riffe, 1999, p. 1).

Moreover, Voinovich combined this leadership philosophy and analytical management
approach of operations efficiency with an unwavering commitment to Cleveland.

Voinovich’s steadfast conviction to his hometown was evident in his unexpected decision to
resign as Ohio’s lieutenant governor and run for the Cleveland mayoralty in 1979. At that time,
Cleveland was broke — “in fact and spirit” (deWindt, 1981). Due to the high inflation of the late
1970s, Cleveland’s expenditures increased dramatically. The city’s spending was exacerbated by
its geographic size, which was based on 1 million residents. Given that Cleveland’s population
fell to 573,822 by 1979, budget shortfalls were inevitable. Instead of addressing these budget and
structural issues, the city relied on short-run strategies that included the selling of municipal
assets, such as its transportation and sewer systems, to receive one-time revenue and by using

1 For information on the Voinovich OITF partnership, we interviewed Ben Bryan, the OITF
implementation coordinator, one departmental administrator, and one line manager. For information on
the Jackson OETF partnership, we interviewed COO Darnell Brown, the OETF chair, and Michele
Whitlow, the manager of the OETF project management office (PMO). Additionally, we interviewed two
city council presidents, Martin Sweeney and Jay Westbrook. Of the seven interviewees, two were involved
both in the Voinovich OITF and the Jackson OETF partnerships. All hour-long interviews, some in person
and others by telephone, took place between June and September 2014.

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


federal program funds, such as the LEAA and CBDG, to pay for city operations (Voinovich,

Moreover, Cleveland residents were suffering due to deplorable living conditions with streets
strewn with litter, blighted neighborhoods, racial polarization in the unresponsive police
department, and the countless breakdowns in the machinery of government (deWindt, 1981).
According to Voinovich (2013), Cleveland was in a dire situation.

The mayor and city council were at war with each other. the
administration was at war with the neighborhoods. It was reported
that a key administration official punched a nun. The
neighborhood people were at war with the police department for a
lack of a police response and perceived excessive force. The
organization representing black policemen was suing the city for
racial discrimination in the department. The city was up in arms
over schooling busing and a federal judge that mishandled it.
Neighborhoods devastated from the riots of the late 60s [had
approximately] 5,000 properties that were in need of immediate
demolition. The city-owned electric company became a public
football in spite of being on the verge of collapse. Unemployment
was about 18%, and the city had a real hunger crisis.

Furthermore, Mayor Dennis Kucinich rejected attempts by the business community to help him
address these problems. Instead, he declared war on Cleveland’s corporate leaders, publicly
denouncing them in national arenas as “fat cats” who wanted to dictate to the “little people”
(deWindt, 1981; Vogelsang-Coombs, 2007). The combination of the city’s financial instability,
its political infighting, and Kucinich’s divisive administrative style sparked a special election to
recall the mayor. Although Mayor Kucinich narrowly survived the recall, he was unable to secure
credit from the Cleveland bankers when $14 million in short-term municipal loans came due. In
particular, the business community wanted Kucinich to privatize the city’s municipal utility
(known as Muny Light). Kucinich’s refusal to sell Muny Light prompted the Cleveland Trust to
demand repayment of its loans, forcing the city to default in 1978.

After the national disgrace of Cleveland’s default, E.M. deWindt, the chairman of the Eaton
Corporation, organized an intense corporate effort to recruit Lt. Governor Voinovich to run for
mayor. To help Voinovich reverse the city’s dire direction, de Windt (1981) pledged that he
would secure corporate funding to underwrite and provide the human capital necessary for
establishing a public-private partnership aimed at improving the operations of Cleveland. Given
this pledge, Voinovich shelved his gubernatorial ambition because he realized, he could “do
more as mayor…and because of the dire situation it could be the most significant contribution
[he] could make in [his] career in government” (Voinovich 2013). Voinovich’s vision for a
public-private partnership centered on operations improvement convinced the city’s corporate
leaders that:

Cleveland would give birth to a rare animal: a task force that
would result in action rather than rhetoric. Like most big cities,
Cleveland had been studied to near death. In recent years, five
separate studies, including a Little Hoover Commission, focused
on Cleveland. Each study ended up with a thick, spiral-bound
tome and precious little action. We had had enough pretty pictures

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Table 1. OITF Implementation Phases by Good Government Partnership Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich

Activating 1979 Mobilizing 1980 Framing 1980 Synthesizing 1980-82 Sustaining 1982-89

-GV PPP premise
-Urgency – Default
-GV recruited by
business community
-Business support for
PPP premise & OITF
-GV elected mayor

-Overall Champion -GV
-External Champion –
-PPP Internal Champion –
Council President Forbes
-Support of Greater
Cleveland Roundtable

-OITF Goal
-Exec. Committee
policy objectives
-GV elimination of
patronage culture

-Legislative support
of City Council

-Ongoing vital
between public &
private sectors


-de Windt, Eaton
Corp. Chair and CEO
-OITF Executive
-Ways and Means

-Cleveland and Gund
Foundation Challenge
Grants of $250,000
-deWindt and Mandel
raised $544,000 from 264

-Ways and Means set
time frames & formats
-Orientation and
training by Warren
-GV memo to directors
and commissioners

-OITF Coordinator
moved into Mayor’s
-Working relationship
between the OITF
Coordinator and city

-Cleveland Tomorrow
-Community Capital
Investment Strategy
and Build Up Greater


-Centralized and top-
down corporate
governance structure

-PPP Process Leaders:
Warren King and Govt
Services Institute
-Internal Process
Champion: Bryant, OITF
-Financial Audit Task Force
-89 loaned executives for 12
weeks organized into four
OITF study teams

-Objectives: to reduce
expenses by 5-10% &
find productivity
-Study teams produced
650 recommendations

-Dept. heads required
to write OITF plans
and evaluated on
-Council passed 60
OITF ordinances
-94% of OITF
-Saved $200 Million
-Workforce down 4%
-Default ended

-1982 charter changes
-14 additional study
teams formed and
-Improved labor and
-Expanded network
of neighborhood


-Project MOVE

-Project MOVE
Coordinator managed
8,000 volunteers

-Culture shift to

-Original loaned
executives stayed

-End of state fiscal
control in 1987
-Three All-America
City awards

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


and multicolored charts. This time there had to be action…and
plenty of it (deWindt, 1981).

In November 1979, Voinovich, a Republican, decisively defeated Mayor Kucinich, a Democrat,
by receiving 56% of the votes cast in solidly blue Cleveland.

One day after his election, Voinovich went to work with deWindt to develop the OITF public-
private partnership. Within three weeks of Voinovich’s election, deWindt had the OITF’s
governing structure in place (see table 2). At the top was a 12-member executive committee that
acted as a board of directors, setting the policy objectives, and providing the financial and
personnel resources for the OITF. As shown in table 2, the executive secretary of the Cleveland
AFL-CIO was incorporated into the OITF’s executive committee. Headed by deWindt, the
executive committee engaged twenty-one business leaders as members of the ways and means
committee. The ways and means committee meticulously recruited and assigned top business
specialists to fit the precise technical needs of the OITF study teams. The OITF’s
implementation rested with a five-member operating committee, headed by Robert Hunter, the
CEO of the Weatherhead Corporation. Thus, the OITF public-private partnership was structured
as a “business enterprise of global proportions” (deWindt, 1981).

Mobilizing Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich (1980)

One day after his inauguration Mayor Voinovich sought to determine the true financial
condition of the city. A state audit revealed that the city’s accounting records were “unauditable”
(Voinovich, 2013). Therefore, the Ohio General Assembly placed Cleveland under the fiscal
supervision of the state’s financial planning commission in January 1980. Consequently, the
mayor established the volunteer financial audit task force, which was comprised primarily of
accountants from the big-eight firms. The auditors found that the city was $110 million in debt.
In effect, Cleveland’s financial position was much bleaker than Voinovich expected. Thus,
negotiating a debt repayment plan, restoring the city’s positive credit rating, and ending the
state’s supervision of Cleveland’s finances were the mayor’s fiscal objectives folded into the
scope of the Voinovich OITF public-private partnership.

The external champion of the OITF partnership was deWindt, and, under his leadership, the
executive committee raised $794,000, including challenge grants of $150,000 and $100,000
from the Cleveland Foundation and Gund Foundation, respectively. Additionally, deWindt and
Morton Mandel, a prominent Cleveland entrepreneur and philanthropist serving on the ways
and means committee, generated widespread community support that resulted in $544,000 in
additional funds for the operation of the Voinovich OITF partnership. Specifically, 264 private
firms (88%) and 36 not-for-profit organizations (12%) in Greater Cleveland served as sponsors
of the OITF partnership. Among the OITF sponsors were eight (8) labor unions (OITF, 1982).

Our interviews revealed that the internal champion of the Voinovich OITF partnership was
Council President George Forbes. Shortly after assuming office, Mayor Voinovich met with the
council president to persuade him that his OITF partnership agenda was aimed at making
Cleveland a better place for everyone everywhere in the city to live. According to Voinovich
(2013), the council president was impressed that the Greater Cleveland Roundtable supported
the mayor’s OITF partnership agenda. By securing the support of the roundtable, the OITF
partnership tapped into “our United Nations that dealt with jobs, economic development, and
education, labor, and race relations” because “its membership included CEOs, elected officials,
religious leaders, union officials, neighborhood activists, and the leaders of the African-

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Table 2. The Voinovich OITF Partnership Structure
Executive Committee Job Title Company

E.M. De Windt, Chairman Chairman of the Board Eaton Corporation
Claude M. Blair, Vice President Chairman of the Board National City Corporation
Carole Hoover, Vice Chairman President Greater Cleveland Growth

Stanley C. Pace, Vice Chairman President TRW Inc.
Frederick K. Cox Vice-Chairman Ameritrust
Dr. Nolen M. Ellison District Chancellor Cuyahoga Community

Fr. Marino Frascati Priest Our lady of Mt. Carmel

Robert E. Hunter Ret. Chairman of the Board

and CEO

Weatherhead Company

Joseph A. Kocab Vice President/Asst. Principal Czech Catholic Union/South
High School

Sebastian Lupica Executive Secretary Cleveland AFL-CIO
Charles McDonald Chairman Council of Smaller

Dr. Ruth Miller News Analyst WBBG Radio
John W. Hushen, coordinator Vice President-Corporate

Eaton Corporation

Ways and Means Committee Job Title Company
E.M. De Windt Chairman of the Board Eaton Corporation
Claude M. Blair Chairman of the Board National City Corporation
Harry J. Bolwell Chairman and CEO Midland-Ross Corporation
John T. Collinson Chief Executive Officer Chessie System, Inc.
William H. De Lancey Chairman and CEO Republic Steel Corporation
John J. Dwyer President Oglebay Norton Company
George J. Grabner President and CEO The Lamson and Sessions

Robert D. Gries Founder and Managing

Gries Investment Company

Ray J. Groves Chairman Ernst and Whinney
Roy H. Holdt Chief Executive Officer White Consolidated

Industries, Inc.
Allen C. Holmes Managing Partner Jones, Day, Reavis, and

William E. MacDonald President and CEO The Ohio Bell Telephone

Morton L. Mandel co-founder and Chairman Premier Industrial

Charles McDonald Chairman Council of Smaller

Arthur B. Modell Owner Cleveland Browns, Inc.
Stanley C. Pace President TRW Inc.
Patrick S. Parker President, Chairman and CEO Parker-Hannifin Corporation
Samuel K. Scovil President and CEO The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron

Herbert E. Strawbridge President The Higbee Company
Hays T. Watkins President and Co-CEO CSX

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


M. Brock Weir President Ameritrust
Alton W. Whitehouse, Jr. Chairman and CEO The Standard Oil Company

Operating Committee Job Title Company
Robert . Hunter, Chairman

Ret. Chairman of the Board
and CEO

Weatherhead Company

Stanley S. Czarnecki Special Agent in Charge FBI
Robert W. Hartwell President Cliffs Electric Service Co.
James J. McGowan, Chairman

General Manager Ohio Bell Telephone

Gustav E. Schrader Vice President TRW, Inc.
Source: OITF (1982)

American, Hispanic, and ethnic communities” (Voinovich, 2013). It is important to note that the
mayor excluded tax policy and city council operations from the OITF partnership’s scope. In this
way, Mayor Voinovich respected the council’s prerogatives and gained the support of the council
president. Without the council president’s behind-the-scene political leadership the work of the
Voinovich OITF partnership would have failed.

Two consulting organizations, the Government Research Institute (GRI) of Cleveland and
Warren King and Associates (WKA), served as the process leaders of the OITF partnership.2 GRI
managed the finances of the OITF partnership and provided logistical support to the operating
committee. WKA provided the templates for the time frames and the scope of the loaned
executive work, the formats of the OITF change recommendations, and the preparation of the
final report. The internal process leader was the OITF Implementation Coordinator Ben Bryan
who was a contract employee, and his salary was funded by the OITF partnership. Bryan
reported directly to Hunter as the operating committee chairman. When Hunter retired in 1982,
Bryan was hired as a full-time city employee in the mayor’s office, and he reported to Tom
Wagner, the city’s law director.

The ways and means committee successfully recruited 89 loaned executives for 12 weeks of
OITF duty. These volunteers included “lawyers, accountants, administrators; CEOs, and CFOs;
engineers experts in computers and human relations and every management discipline”
(deWindt, 1981). Four study teams of business volunteers were formed to study the 63 agencies
within the city, and the chair of each team was a member of the operating committee.3 In effect,
every city department and administrative process was within the OITF partnership’s purview.
Before the loaned executives were embedded in the study teams, WKA trained them about the
differences between the public and private sectors, reminded them their purpose was to share
best practices respectfully with city employees, and praised them for their willingness to help
their hometown.

2 Voinovich (2013) modeled the Cleveland Operations Improvement Task Force (OITF) on the successful
public-private partnership that Governor Ronald Reagan implemented in California with the assistance of
Warren King and Associates.
3 Led by the vice president of TRW, one team focused on the departments of public properties, port
control and public service. Another team, led by an experienced FBI executive, headed the protective
services team, focusing on police, fire, and emergency management services. Chaired by a former
executive vice president of Detroit Edison, the third team studied public utilities, health, and community
development. Led by an Ohio Bell vice president, the fourth team focused on general government, and its
scope included the mayor’s office as well as the departments of personnel and finance (OITF, 1982).

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Framing Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich (1980)

The stated goal of the Voinovich OITF partnership was: “To help improve the quality of life for
the people of Cleveland by making local government more responsive to citizen needs.” To frame
the work of the OITF study teams, the executive committee set the following objectives: (1)
identify immediate opportunities for increasing efficiency and improving cost effectiveness that
could be realized by executive or administrative order; (2) suggest managerial, operating and
organizational improvements for immediate and long-term consideration by the mayor and city
council; and, (3) pinpoint specific areas where further in-depth analysis could be justified by
potential short or long-term benefit (OITF, 1982).

Mayor Voinovich’s unwavering commitment to the OITF partnership set a positive tone
throughout the city and framed his larger focus on the primacy of professional management.
However, when Voinovich assumed office, city hall operations were chaotic, and staff morale
was low. As a group, the city commissioners (the highest civil service ranking employees) felt
broken, and the rank-and-file employees were afraid that “heads would roll” based on what the
loaned executives would do.

Within three weeks of taking office, Mayor Voinovich sent a memo to reassure city managers
and build their support for the OITF study process. Specifically, he asked all department
directors and city commissioners to provide an itemized list of the status of service in their units,
using a rating scale of “inadequate,” “adequate,” and “more than adequate” service. The mayor
also encouraged them to share their thoughts about how to organize their departments to
function better and more efficiently. Their responses were fed back to the OITF study teams and
ultimately became a part of the OITF partnership’s change proposals. Voinovich believed this
employee-centered process helped him gain the management staff’s confidence in the
partnership’s goal of operations improvement.

To build staff morale, Voinovich established a culture of professional management at city hall.
One way he did this was to remove the patronage politics that pervaded city administration. In
particular, he eliminated the requirement for city employees to kick back a portion of their
salary by buying or selling tickets for mayoral campaign fundraisers. Voinovich made it clear to
all city employees that he would base their evaluations on their job performance rather than on
the number of campaign tickets they sold or on their personal relationships with the mayor
(Voinovich, 2013).

Another way Voinovich professionalized the culture was by his involving city employees in the
OITF study process. In framing the OITF, he approached them to find out what they were doing
right by soliciting their ideas about what they could do better. The message he sent was: how can
we help you do your job better, smarter, and in the most cost-effective way? (Voinovich, 2013).
In addition, the OITF implementation coordinator met regularly with every city commissioner,
thereby tapping into their expertise and institutional knowledge of the 63 operating units.
Without this employee-centered process to frame the OITF partnership, Voinovich believed that
improving the city’s operations would not have been possible (Voinovich, 2013).

Synthesizing Behavior of Mayor Voinovich (1980–1982)

Unlike the strife characterizing Mayor Kucinich’s relationship to the city council, Mayor
Voinovich restored civility between Cleveland’s executive and legislative branches. Moreover,
the council president as the internal OITF partnership champion was a true ally of the mayor

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


because privately he built the political majority necessary to enact the OITF change proposals.
Eventually, the council passed 60 OITF-related ordinances that focused on operations,
management, and service delivery.

Within 90 days of its inception, the OITF partnership delivered a comprehensive evaluation of
Cleveland’s city government. This report had 650 workable recommendations, each of which
was vetted and edited by the operating committee. Afterward, Mayor Voinovich required his
department directors to develop implementation plans for their units, and he evaluated their
performance heavily in terms of their progress. The mayor also met weekly with the operating
committee and the OITF implementation coordinator, whose sole responsibility was to track
and facilitate the progress made in carrying out the improvement recommendations. Once a
month, the mayor devoted time at his cabinet meeting for the department heads to report to
their peers their progress in implementing their OITF action plans. Informally, Mayor Voinovich
conferred “eagle” and “jackass” awards to those department heads who made an outstanding or
a limited effort, respectively, in carrying out their OITF commitments. The leadership and direct
engagement of Mayor Voinovich in synthesizing the OITF implementation activities was vital to
the partnership’s success.

Overall, 94% of the OITF recommendations were implemented that reduced the city workforce
by 4% and saved $200 million collectively (OITF, 1982). Additionally, Mayor Voinovich
reorganized 10 departments, instituted an accounting system with internal auditing capabilities,
and achieved savings of $57 million annually. He also set controls on police overtime and
adopted a computerized communication system to speed up the response time of safety forces,
streamlined purchasing transactions, instituted a city-wide vehicle control and maintenance
system, revamped the snow removal process, upgraded data-processing capabilities, and
improved personnel procedures (deWindt, 1981; OITF, 1982). By the end of 1981, Cleveland was
no longer in default, and the city achieved an investment grade for its credit rating; fiscal control
was returned to the city when the state’s supervisory commission disbanded in June 1987.

At its conclusion in March 1982, the leadership of the OITF partnership delivered a second
report to Mayor Voinovich. This report directed the mayor’s attention to the needed middle- and
long-term strategies for the professional management of Cleveland’s finances and service
delivery. Based on this report, Mayor Voinovich and the OITF executive committee identified 14
major improvement projects, including an enhanced computer-aided dispatch system for the
police department; a wage and salary administration study; a building maintenance system;
EEO program assistance; a fire location study; and a payroll system. The mayor used 66% of the
funds raised by the OITF public-private partnership (or $596,000) to cover the cost of
implementing these 14 projects.

An important synthesizing feature of the Voinovich OITF partnership was that it fostered
professional relationships between the loaned private sector executives and their city
counterparts. As deWindt (1981) noted the OITF recommendations were integrated into city
operations for two reasons. The first reason is that city employees embraced the OITF study
process because they participated in making the decisions about what to change in their own
work settings. The second reason is that the loaned executives found that most city employees
were dedicated, hard-working, and willing to go beyond the call of duty, despite laboring under
inefficient practices, untrained managers, inadequate resources, outdated equipment, and faulty

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Overall, the Cleveland business community became fully invested in Mayor Voinovich’s OITF
partnership to restore good government in the city. The leadership of the OITF public-private
partnership reported that Cleveland:

…expanded vital channels of communication between the public
and private sectors. Without the cooperation of the city’s
employees, the progress achieved would not have been possible.
In addition, task force members have developed a better
understanding of the complex problems of municipal government
management through their work with agency officials (OITF,

In fact, many loaned executives stayed involved with their city counterparts on their own time
long after the study period ended, and some loaned executives joined the city’s workforce.
Strategically, the mayor expanded these channels of communication between the public and
private sectors to sustain the results of the OITF partnership.

Sustaining Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich (1982–1989)

Mayor Voinovich in partnership with Council President Forbes institutionalized the OITF’s
legacy. In 1981, the council voted to place two OITF-inspired charter amendments on the ballot.
One amendment lengthened the terms of the mayor and council members from two to four
years in addition to strengthening the mayor’s executive powers; the other amendment clarified
the prevailing wage requirements for city workers. Both charter changes were approved by the
voters. The voters also approved an earnings tax earmarked for debt repayment and capital
improvements (Vogelsang-Coombs, 2007).

To sustain the work of the OITF partnership internally, Mayor Voinovich, assisted by
philanthropist Morton Mandel, created Project MOVE (Mayor’s Operation Volunteer Effort).
Overall, Project MOVE channeled 8,000 volunteer business and community leaders into most
levels of all city departments (Garda, 2014). To recognize the contributions of the volunteers,
Voinovich established the Mayor’s Award for Volunteerism and designated “a wall of fame” in
Cleveland City Hall, where plaques still hang to honor the MOVE volunteers.

Much has been written about the immediate outcomes of the OITF partnership, so we will only
present some highlights. As a result of the OITF, the city secured $149 million in urban
development action grants that leveraged $770 million in private investments, including
projects for neighborhood revitalization (Mendel & Brudney, 2012). With the financial
assistance of Cleveland Tomorrow, the Voinovich administration facilitated the expansion of
Cleveland’s neighborhood development organizations (CNDCs) to improve the residents’
quality of life, and the number of CNDCs grew from 12 to 35 (Voinovich, 2013).4 Because of the
OITF partnership, the city was much more active in all of Cleveland’s neighborhoods than under
previous mayoral administrations.

Additionally, Mayor Voinovich worked with the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, an early
supporter of the OITF, to improve race relations, and he integrated the Cleveland police and fire
departments under a court order. Given the constraints of limited tax revenue and debt

4 Comprising the CEO’s from 44 major Cleveland-based corporations, Cleveland Tomorrow also raised
$855,000 for economic development projects to attract and retain businesses in Greater Cleveland
(Voinovich, 2013).

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


financing, the mayor worked with Build-Up Greater Cleveland to raise $1.6 billion to renew the
city’s aging infrastructure (Voinovich, 2013). Finally, the OITF partnership laid the groundwork
for the creation of two public-private partnerships that transformed Cleveland’s downtown
neighborhood. The first partnership developed the North Coast Harbor, where several landmark
cultural institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science
Center, chose to locate. The second partnership developed Cleveland’s signature Playhouse
Square. According to Voinovich (2013), more construction happened during his mayoral
administration than any other time in Cleveland’s history.

Overall, the implementation of Mayor Voinovich’s public-private partnership and its sustained
effects enabled Cleveland to rise from the ashes of the municipal default into the “comeback
city.” Cleveland received national recognition by winning the prestigious All-America City
Award from the National Civic League three times in the 10 years of the Voinovich
administration. On retiring from the Cleveland mayoralty in 1989, Voinovich (2013) had a proud
moment because USA Today wrote an article about him and Council President Forbes “as the
short white Republican mayor and the tall African-American [Democratic] Council President
that worked together to bring about the Cleveland Renaissance.”

It is important to note that the OITF leadership identified four critical areas that required
ongoing attention by city leaders: personnel management; data processing/information
technology management; management organization; and capital investment and maintenance
(OITF, 1982). Three issues—personnel management, data processing/technology management,
and management organization—resurfaced in 2006 as the priorities of Mayor Frank Jackson’s
Operations Efficiency Task Force (OETF).

The Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors in the Jackson OETF

Table 3 organizes the milestone activities of Mayor Jackson’s OETF by the five good government
partnership behaviors listed in the top row. The first column divides the OETF into four phases:
(1) the formation of the OETF partnership concept; (2) the development of the OETF; (3) the
OETF operations; and, (4) the OETF’s follow-up activities.

Activating Behaviors of Mayor Jackson (2006)

Pundits described Frank Jackson’s character as “honest” and “contemplative,” a self-effacing
politician without “ego or ambition” (Roberts, 2012). His council colleagues perceived him as a
man of high integrity, an exceptionally good listener, and an excellent reader of people. Jackson
described himself as a “servant-leader” with a social equity mission to make a difference in the
lives of citizens, especially “for those among us who have the least.” In his view, government was
different from the private sector. Although government, he said, benefitted by applying
business-oriented efficiency practices in its operations, its bottom line was quality service to

Council President Frank Jackson made history in November 2005 for becoming the first sitting
council member elected Cleveland mayor since 1867 (Roberts, 2012). After 13 years on the city
council, including four years as council president and finance committee chair, Jackson
developed extensive technical knowledge of Cleveland’s operations. His cooperative relations
with Mayor Jane Campbell deteriorated in 2004 when she failed to keep the council informed

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Table 3. OETF Implementation Phases by Good Government Partnership Behaviors of Mayor Jackson






-FJ became mayor
efficiency as good
government model
-FJ Social equity
-Budget deficit

-Executive Sponsor-
-PPP Champion –
COO Brown
-Suburban mayors

-OETF Charter
-Mayor’s annual
budget meeting with
-Fiscal discipline
required of dept.

-Transparent govt.
-Plain Dealer
-Mayor’s Annual
Report to Citizens

-Cooperation with
the business
-Cleveland K-12


-OEC Council
Management Office
-City Council as ally
-Union cooperation

-Diverse Volunteer
-Process Leader:
PMO Manager
Westbrook on OEC

-PMO Methodology
-Technical Training,
-Customer Service

-COO Management
by walking around
-City of Choice
hotline and email
for employee input
-OETF Performance
Dashboards for
Action Teams

-CitiStat Initiated
-CitiStat and 311
systems merged


-Public sector driven
employee- centered
-No outside funding

-406 OETF
-24 Action Teams,
co-chaired by
internal lead and
external lead

-Phase 1 – 8 teams
-Phase 2 – 16 teams
-Work Process
Mapping & Process
Targets identified

-94% implemented
-Saved $71 million
-Balanced budget
-Strategic IT Council
-QOL for citizens
-311 System
-Social equity

-Career paths


-Sub-cabinet cluster:
neighborhoods &
created thriving
residential district

-Regional economic
-Participation in

-City employees as
internal champions
-Shift to a
Culture of Customer


-Emerging Leaders
-Brain Gain
-2014 Gay Games
-Won 2016
Republican Pres.

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


about the city’s operating deficit and her plans for layoffs and an income tax levy. Jackson felt
compelled to run for mayor because, as the chair of the finance committee, he clearly
understood Cleveland’s fiscal problems and knew what had to be done.

When Mayor Jackson assumed his new office, Cleveland’s population was 406,427 (or 167,400
less than 24 years earlier under Mayor Voinovich), and the U.S. Census Bureau identified
Cleveland as the nation’s poorest (Vogelsang-Coombs & Denihan, 2008). Despite losing
approximately one-third of its 1980 population, Cleveland’s service delivery infrastructure had
changed little since the Voinovich administration. Moreover, few Fortune 500 companies
remained headquartered in the city, Cleveland’s steel mills were closed, and local manufacturing
companies were struggling. Given that city employees lacked up-to-date hardware, software,
and basic computer training, the city’s operations were inefficient because few administrative
processes were automated. Labor relations were tense because of the layoffs done under the
Campbell administration, and the staff downsizing disrupted service delivery to residents.

As the newly elected mayor, Jackson inherited a deficit of $30 million from his predecessor.
Nevertheless, Jackson refused to sell city assets or use one-time revenues sources to balance the
city’s budget. For him, good government meant that Cleveland operated efficiently within its tax
and revenue base. Thus, the overarching purpose of Mayor Jackson’s public-private partnership
was to eliminate the city’s recurring budget shortfalls and restore its financial stability while
rightsizing Cleveland’s government and maintaining quality essential city services. Furthermore,
the OETF partnership served as the platform from which Mayor Jackson launched his vision of
securing a positive future for Clevelanders in addition to making Cleveland a great city again.

Before launching his public-private partnership, Mayor Jackson consulted with Tom Wagner,
the law director who supervised Mayor Voinovich’s OITF partnership. In the end, Jackson chose
not to adopt a cookie-cutter approach to activate his OETF partnership because Cleveland’s
environment had changed substantially from the time of Mayor Voinovich. Moreover, he was
firm that his OETF partnership’s approach to operations efficiency would be driven by
government and public sector values. Thus, he created the OETF partnership as a broad-based
coalition, drawing members from government, business, academia, nonprofit organizations,
state and local officials, and former cabinet officials (OETF, 2006). In effect, the mayor
structured the OETF partnership to fit Cleveland as he found the city in 2006 and his own
leadership style.

Within a month of taking office, Jackson activated the Operations Efficiency Task Force (OETF).
At the top of the OETF partnership was the operations efficiency council (see table 4). This
council set the partnership’s strategic direction in addition to serving as the oversight body. The
council’s chair was the city’s chief operating officer (COO) Darnell Brown. Besides him, seven
volunteers, the city’s chief technology officer, and three mayoral assistants served on the
operations efficiency council. The seven volunteers were prominent community and business
leaders, information technology experts, and leadership experts from Cleveland State

It is important to note that an active member of the operations efficiency council was Jay
Westbrook, a highly respected councilman and a former council president. The Westbrook
appointment insured that the city council had significant input into the OETF partnership
process and up-to-date knowledge of Cleveland’s financial condition. This financial
transparency led to the city council’s willingness to support the changes emerging from the
Jackson OETF partnership with legislation.

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Table 4. The Jackson OETF Partnership Structure
Executive Sponsor Job Title Organization

Frank G. Jackson Mayor

City of Cleveland

Operations Efficiency Council Job Title Organization
Darnell Brown, Chair Chief Operating Officer City of Cleveland
William M. Denihan Chief Executive Officer Cuyahoga County

Mental Health Board

Lee Friedman President & Chief Executive

Cleveland Leadership

Fred Nance Managing Partner Squires, Sanders, and
Dempsey LLP

Charles Phelps Director of Leadership

Levin College of Urban
Affairs, CSU

Dr. Vera Vogelsang-Coombs MPA Program Director Levin College of Urban
Affairs, CSU

Jay Westbrook Councilman, Ward 18 Cleveland City Council
Ron Woodford, PMP Senior Program Manager VW Group
Natoya J. Walker Special Assistant to Mayor,

Public Affairs
City of Cleveland

Barry Withers Special Assistant to Mayor,
Employee Services

City of Cleveland

Michele C. Whitlow OETF PMO Program Manager City of Cleveland
Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart
(2006 )

Chief Technology Officer City of Cleveland

Communications Advisory Team Job Title Organization
Natoya J. Walker, Chair Special Assistant to Mayor,

Public Affairs
City of Cleveland

Montrie Rucker Adams (2006-

President Visibility Marketing, Inc.

Carol Caruso (2006) Senior Vice President,

Greater Cleveland

Marie Galindo (2006) Owner Luchita’s Restaurant
Wayne Hill, APR (2006) President Edward Howard and Co.
Mary Ann Sharkey (2006-2007) Chief Executive Officer Mita Marketing LLC
Tom Andrzejewski (2007) President Oppidan Group
Scott Osiecki (2007) Director, External Affairs Cuyahoga County

Mental Health Board

Sheila Samuels (2007) Former Development Director Levin College of Urban
Affairs, CSU

Erica Chrysler (2006) Deputy Press Secretary City of Cleveland
Jason Wood (2006) Special Assistant to Mayor,

Boards & Commissions
City of Cleveland

Michael House (2006-2007) General Manager, Channel 23 City of Cleveland
Francis Margaux (2007) Special Assistant to the Mayor City of Cleveland
Maureen Harper (2007) Chief of Communications City of Cleveland
Ossie Neal (2007) Marketing Manager, Division

of Water Pollution Control
City of Cleveland

OETF Project Management Office City of Cleveland Employees City of Cleveland

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


Michele C. Whitlow, PMO

Gwen Bryant (2006-2007) Hollis Crump (2006-

Eduardo Romero (2006) Shahid Sarawar (2006) Cynthia Sullivan (2006-

Elaine Woods (2006-2007) Valencia Wright (2006-2007) Phyllis Fuller Clipps

Bertha Glover (2007) Ossie Neal (2007) Celeste Ribbins (2007)
Vinita Bose (2007) Tyeshia Minniefield (Intern) Jeremy Taylor (Intern)
Source: OETF (2007, 2008)

Similarly, the city’s labor unions became the strategic allies of Mayor Jackson. In March 2006,
the mayor briefed the union leadership about his employee-centered operation efficiency plans
in light of the city’s bleak fiscal condition and unfavorable financial forecasts. Boldly, Jackson
asked the labor leaders for temporary contract concessions so that he could balance the city’s
budget without disrupting service to the residents. Furthermore, the mayor pledged that if the
unions made concessions to help him achieve a budget in structural balance, then he would
maintain the city’s employment levels and not lay off staff. All but one union leader agreed, and
the roll backs in the labor contracts immediately saved the city $30 million. Mayor Jackson
succeeded in gaining labor’s cooperation for his OETF partnership because the union leaders
trusted him and believed in his integrity.

As shown in table 4, the OETF partnership had a communications advisory team whose
membership included public relations professionals from business, government, and the media
as well as mayoral assistants and the city’s press secretary. This team was responsible for
keeping stakeholders and the public informed about the work of the Jackson OETF partnership.

Mobilizing Activities of Mayor Jackson (2006)

Although Mayor Jackson was the executive sponsor of the OETF partnership; the overall
partnership champion was COO Brown. Under Brown’s leadership, the operations efficiency
council recruited approximately 406 volunteers from the Greater Cleveland Partnership (the
regional business chamber) and its affiliate, the Cleveland Leadership Center, as well as alumni
of Cleveland State University’s MPA Program and Local Officials Leadership Academy (see
figure 1). These volunteers contributed more than 12,000 hours of service worth approximately
$1.7 million in expertise (Vogelsang-Coombs & Denihan, 2008). Whereas the leadership of
Mayor Voinovich’s OITF partnership raised approximately $1 million from the private and
nonprofit sectors, Mayor Jackson’s OETF public-private partnership existed entirely on the
donated time and in-kind services of the volunteers.

The internal process leader of the Jackson OETF partnership was Michele Whitlow, an
employee with the Cleveland Water division; she had a mobility assignment to head the OETF
project management office (PMO). The PMO staff developed the operations efficiency
methodology; standardized formats for the action teams to gather, analyze, and share critical
information developed the templates for tracking performance measures; and provided
technical assistance during the implementation of the recommendations of the OETF action
teams. The PMO staff also had the daily oversight of the action teams and reported monthly to
the operations efficiency council.

Finally, the leadership of the Jackson OETF partnership reached out to inner-ring suburban
mayors. Three mayors, all of whom had chaired the Cuyahoga Mayors and Managers

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


Figure 1. Participants in Jackson OETF Partnership by Sector

N = 406

Association, participated in a focus group.5 The suburban mayors offered suggestions to increase
operational efficiencies with a special emphasis on inter-local service agreements. During the
Jackson administration, Cleveland joined the Northeast Ohio City Council Association
(NOCCA). Additionally, Mayor Jackson supported a “no poaching” economic development
strategy, whereby municipal officials agreed not to lure businesses to relocate from one Greater
Cleveland location to another (Vogelsang-Coombs & Denihan, 2008).

Framing Activities of Mayor Jackson (2006–2007)

In April 2006, Mayor Jackson held his first meeting with all OETF volunteers and participating
city employees, where he unveiled the charter of his public-private partnership. This charter
established the OETF partnership’s urgent good (efficient) government purpose. Additionally,
the charter expressed the OETF partnership’s guiding principles that included Mayor Jackson’s
commitments to value the expertise of employees, give them with opportunities for retraining,
and enable them to share their learning. Besides clarifying the roles and responsibilities of
OETF participants, the charter cited 13 critical success factors, including the elimination of
service gaps across city departments, the use of innovative solutions in service delivery, and the
utilization of technology to enhance data collection and guide decision-making. Thus, the
public-private partnership charter framed the mayor’s plans to foster a citywide culture of
excellent performance and customer service.

To reinforce his commitment to good government principles, Mayor Jackson held meetings with
all city employees and stakeholders, including the unions. At these meetings, he reiterated the
OETF’s partnership purpose of operations efficiency, shared information about the city’s
financial condition and revenue projections, and pledged to maintain employment under a

5 The participating suburban mayors were Republican Bruce Akers of Pepper Pike, Republican Deborah
Sutherland of Bay Village, and Democrat Martin Zanotti of Parma Heights.

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


structurally balanced budget. The mayor continued these meetings annually to renew the
employees’ confidence in the usefulness of the partnership’s approach to operations efficiency
and to maintain morale.

Also, as a part of the framing process, Mayor Jackson informed his cabinet directors that he
expected them to live within their budgets. Accordingly, he ended the practice of padding one
department’s budget to pay for cost overruns generated in another department. He also
informed his directors that the cost savings generated by their departments and divisions would
be redistributed to those city operations where they would produce the greatest efficiencies,
customer service improvements, and productivity gains.

Specifically, the work of the OETF partnership was divided into two phases: eight action teams
operated in Phase 1 (2006–2007), and 16 action teams in Phase 2 (2007–2008). Taken as a
group, the OETF action teams covered all aspects of city operations except public safety.6 To
build the capacity of the action team members, the staff from the OETF project management
office (PMO) organized technical, leadership, customer service, and performance measurement
training programs for the partnership volunteers and the city employees to participate together
at the beginning of their OETF assignments. Given their common training experience, city
employees felt comfortable in opening their units up to the outsiders on their action teams.
These training sessions also built camaraderie among the city employees who worked in
different departments and fostered good will between the city employees and the outside

Each action team was co-chaired by a department director and a volunteer expert (called the
external lead). The action teams were given the following four objectives: (1) to reduce operating
costs by at least 3%; (2) to enhance city services by using performance indicators and targets; (3)
to increase employee productivity through better use of technology; and (4) improve customer
service to internal and external customers (OETF, 2006, 2007). The action teams applied the
PMO’s performance methodology by assessing the current or “as is” work process for their
assigned department or citywide service. After mapping these work processes, the action teams
proposed recommendations that contained performance targets and customer service standards
designed to achieve the four OETF objectives. Overall, the action teams produced 394
recommendations for improving more than 100 city processes operations from the inside out
(OETF, 2007).

Based on their success in producing workable improvement recommendations, city employees
developed an identity as the internal champions of operations efficiency. Because these
employee-participants were scattered throughout Cleveland’s 60 departments and divisions,
their work on the OETF action teams informally facilitated a shift in the city’s work culture. This
shift to a citywide culture of excellent performance and customer service occurred without an

6 Phase 1 Teams focused on the departments of public health, building and housing, public service, and
parks, recreation and properties and the citywide services of IT service delivery, human resources,
procurement and purchasing, and customer service. Concurrently, the Department of Public Safety, which
comprised 60% of the city’s budget, conducted an internal assessment and identified 50 improvement
opportunities for implementation. Also, the Greater Cleveland Partnership funded loaned executives to
assess the city’s fleet of motor vehicles. Phase 2 Teams focused on the departments of aging, city planning,
the civil service commission, community development, consumer affairs, economic development, port
control and public utilities, Cleveland Public Power (formerly Muny Light), water, and water pollution
control. Four additional teams focused on the general support functions provided by the departments of
finance and law as well as the Mayor’s Offices of Communications and Equal Opportunity (OETF, 2007).

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


incident because it was driven by the bottom-up, employee-centered approach of the Jackson
OETF partnership.

Synthesizing Behaviors of Mayor Jackson (2007–2008)

Mayor Jackson delegated the day-to-day supervision of the OETF action teams to COO Brown.
However, if department heads were not meeting their OETF expectations, then the mayor would
forcefully “get into their business,” demanding to know when and how they would change their
lackluster performance. In fact, the mayor removed one intransigent division head that blocked
the implementation of the OETF recommendations at the city. In effect, he made it clear that the
implementation of the OETF partnership recommendations was a priority, and he was serious
about seeing results.

COO Brown and PMO manager Whitlow combined data-driven decision-making and
management by walking around. In particular, the PMO staff developed performance
dashboards built on the performance targets identified in the OETF recommendations, collected
and tracked performance measurements, and reported the results to the action teams.
Additionally, the COO and the PMO staff met with the action teams, including the community
volunteers and line employees, in the city’s departments and divisions. This practice gave line
employees an opportunity to engage with top city officials about their operational needs and
aspirations. Interestingly, this practice was replicated by some department directors who
opened opportunities for their employees to contribute ideas for operations efficiency and
improved customer service.

Furthermore, a “city of choice” hotline and an email address were set up as other channels of
safe communication between line employees and the city’s top leadership. This propensity for
openness among the highest city officials reinforced the validity of Mayor Jackson’s employee-
centered approach to operations efficiency. The leadership of the OETF partnership extended
this propensity for transparent government to the general public. At the end of Phase 2, the
communications team published the 2008 Mayor’s Annual Report (MAR) to the Citizens of
Cleveland. This report highlighted the city’s improved performance stemming from the change
recommendations of the Jackson OETF partnership, and the city has continued publishing an
annual MAR since then.

When the OETF partnership concluded its operations in 2010, the city implemented 94% of the
OETF recommendations. Collectively, the action teams saved $71 million between 2006 and
2009. Given the substantial annual savings produced by the OETF partnership process, the
mayor balanced the city’s budget in every year of his first term (2006–2010), including 2008
and 2009 during the Great Recession, all without disruptive staff layoffs. Additionally, the
Jackson OETF partnership improved the quality of life for citizens, including more timely snow
removal, street repair, and waste collection, and more frequent sweeping of residential streets.
The city also instituted a recycling program. With no new additional resources, Mayor Jackson
reopened the city’s neighborhood-based recreation centers that were closed under previous
mayors due to tight budgets. As a result of the OETF improvements, the recreation centers
extended their hours to Saturdays, and the city added a new recreation center.

The Jackson OETF partnership facilitated opportunities for employees to develop a citywide
perspective. In Phase 1 of the OETF partnership, the city established the Strategic Information
Technology Council. This council had the oversight of the deployment and utilization of IT
systems across the departments to insure the city’s technology aligned with the OETF

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


partnership’s strategic goals. As a result, the city adopted web-enabled interactive portals for
citizen access, established a system of e-permitting, and provided field personnel with hand-
held computers that had direct access to their operational systems. In 2008, the city launched a
“3-1-1” communication system that allowed residents to report and receive faster service in non-
emergency situations.

In addition, the city established two noteworthy cross-departmental initiatives to serve older
and younger residents. The senior initiative involved six departments that helped older
residents (persons aged 60 and over) upgrade their homes to meet housing codes. The youth
initiative, called “One Voice, Zero Tolerance,” involved staff from three departments and the
mayor’s office; together they developed a package of education, prevention, intervention, and
workforce training services. Both initiatives were still working in 2014.

Finally, the Jackson OETF partnership process extended the cooperation between the city of
Cleveland and suburban jurisdictions. As a result of some OETF recommendations, the city
established agreements with contiguous jurisdictions related to overlapping functions, such as
snow removal and street repair. Mayor Jackson also worked with the Cuyahoga County Mayors
and Managers Association to develop joint economic agreements tied to Cleveland water service,
in which participating cities shared taxes from relocating industries (Jackson, 2009).

Sustaining Behaviors of Mayor Jackson (2009–2014)

One way Mayor Jackson sustained the OETF improvements internally was by investing in
CitiStat, a data-driven work management system developed in Baltimore. In 2011, the city
merged the CitiStat and “3-1-1” systems to create a citywide performance dashboard. This
enhanced dashboard gave employees up-to-date data on their response time to citizen
complaints, while department directors gained information about under-served areas of the city.
The general public had access to these performance data because the city published the citywide
performance dashboard in the Mayor’s Annual Report to the citizenry.

Another way the city sustained the OETF efficiency and productivity gains was by making staff
training and development mayoral priorities. Cross-functional training, mobility assignments,
and internships were used to develop in-house talent and help establish career paths for city
employees. In a partnership with Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Foundation, the
city established the Cleveland Management Academy (CMA) in 2009. Specifically, the CMA was
a year-long management development program aligned with the objectives of the Jackson OETF
partnership (Starzyk, 2009). Mayor Jackson (2009) reported that he promoted eight CMA
graduates into positions of department directors and city commissioners (without knowing they
were CMA alumni) because they were the best candidates. Thus, the Jackson OETF partnership
facilitated the creation of a citywide cadre of emerging leaders who successfully competed for
upper-level leadership positions.

Although Cleveland business leaders were nervous about Mayor Jackson in 2006, he captured
their support because of his stewardship of the city through the OETF public-private
partnership. The mayor impressed the business community because the cost savings and
productivity improvements that emerged from his OETF partnership enabled Cleveland to
survive the Great Recession better than many other cities in the nation (Trickey, 2013). Mayor
Jackson—who was reelected in 2009 and 2013—used the respect he earned from the business

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


community to implement his visionary “Cleveland Plan” to transform the city’s underperforming
and insolvent school district (Garda, 2014).7

Finally, Cleveland received national attention for its success in implementing the “new urban
renewal” (Hyra, 2012). As a part of the OETF, Mayor Jackson created an economic development
cluster in his cabinet to work with the private sector to generate extensive neighborhood
revitalization in addition to transforming the city’s aging downtown into a thriving residential
district. Cleveland also experienced a “brain gain,” as young professionals made Cleveland their
“city of choice.” Trickey (2013) attributed these transformational effects to Mayor Jackson’s

A mayor from Cleveland’s poorest neighborhoods is presiding over
a downtown population boom, and a surge of vitality is attracting
young professionals to the city’s near West Side. Jackson helped
those changes along with reliable services, a rejuvenated economic
development department, strategic spending at key moments, and
the more tangible aspects of his sustainability effort, from bike
lanes to support of the local food movement.

Additional evidence that Cleveland was a city of choice occurred in 2014. Besides serving as the
venue for the international Gay Games, Cleveland was chosen in a highly competitive selection
process as the venue for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominating convention. The
transformation of Cleveland into a city of choice would not have occurred without the results of
Mayor Jackson’s public-private partnership that were reinforced by his vision of good (efficient)
government and his philosophy of servant-leadership.

Lessons Learned & Governance Implications

Our analysis of the public-private partnerships of Mayor Voinovich and Mayor Jackson from the
inside out produced three lessons. The first lesson is that each mayor tailored the structure and
the objectives of his public-private partnership to fit not only to his particular leadership style
but to succeed in addressing declining population and revenue needs of Cleveland during their
moment in office. Specifically, Mayor Voinovich organized the OITF public-private partnership
as a tactical strike force. His partnership used a top-down hierarchical structure and was
generously funded by Cleveland’s business, nonprofit, and labor communities to deal with the
urgency of the municipal default. He achieved the objectives of the OITF partnership for
increasing the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of administrative operations to end the
default. Given his strategic alliance with Council President Forbes, Mayor Voinovich achieved
long-term managerial, operating, and organizational improvements in municipal governance.
Based on the work of the OITF partnership, Mayor Voinovich pinpointed 14 major
administrative projects in need of additional study; he used funds raised by the OITF
partnership to implement productivity improvements for the long-term management of
Cleveland’s finances and service delivery.

7 This Cleveland Plan integrated the city’s network of charter schools into the Cleveland municipal school
district. In this way, Cleveland families living in neighborhoods with underachieving public school had
access to high-quality options available for their children’s education. Then, in 2012, the mayor mobilized
a bipartisan coalition comprising prominent business and community leaders, teachers’ unions, teachers,
parents, as well as key state and county officials that secured legislation and a tax levy to sustain the
innovative Cleveland Plan (O’Donnell & Guillen, 2012; Trickey, 2013).

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


In contrast, Mayor Jackson organized his OETF public-private partnership as a strategic
campaign. His partnership used a bottom-up, flat structure driven by public sector values and
the donated contributions of the outside volunteers. Mayor Jackson successfully achieved a
structurally balanced budget and modernized administrative operations. He also achieved the
objectives of the OETF partnership of reducing operating costs by 3%, applying performance
measures to improve city services, using technology to increase employee productivity, and
improving service delivery to internal and external customers. Building on the success of the
OETF partnership, Mayor Jackson garnered the support of the Cleveland business community,
and he achieved major transformational changes in the city, such as the innovative Cleveland
Plan for reinventing K–12 education.

The second lesson highlights how the mayors gained the trust of city employees for their public-
private partnerships. Both the Voinovich and Jackson partnerships created an employee-
centered process to study and improve administrative operations. Specifically, the Voinovich
partnership concentrated on gaining the support of the city commissioners (the highest civil
service employees), thereby tapping into their expertise, institutional knowledge, and role in
supervising staff. The Jackson partnership concentrated on gaining the support of the city’s
labor unions to ease tensions in employee relations. Both partnerships set ground rules for the
volunteers to treat city employees respectfully by listening to their ideas, advising them on best
practices from the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and suggesting operational improvements.
After the employees and the volunteers merged ideas and improvement recommendations, they
co-designed performance measures. This process contributed to employee ownership for the
implementation of the partnership’s change proposals. It also led to creativity, innovation, and
sustained improvements in city operations.

The third lesson focuses on the effects of participation in the Voinovich and Jackson public-
private partnerships. Feedback from city employees revealed how much they gained from the
perspective of the volunteers; the volunteers reported they had a “newfound respect” for the
professionalism and competence of city employees. For city employees, in particular, their
participation in the mayoral public-private partnerships served a liberating experience. These
“liberated” employees became the advocates of professional management at city hall and
informally created a city-wide network of internal change agents. This network of internal
employee-change agents seamlessly engineered the professionalization of the city’s work culture
from the bottom up. For the outside volunteers, their participation in the mayoral public-private
partnerships had an educative effect. The volunteers were impressed by the dedication and
competence of city employees from whom they learned how Cleveland’s government really
works, and many developed permanent friendships with their city counterparts. Through this
educational experience, the volunteers deepened their affiliation with the city of Cleveland.

Three governance implications emerge from these lessons. The first implication is that a public-
private partnership oriented toward operations efficiency is not just for a newly elected mayor
facing a crisis. Both Mayors Voinovich and Jackson advocated using a public-private
partnership oriented toward operations efficiency on a regular basis. Mayor Voinovich felt that
Cleveland would benefit by renewing a public-private partnership oriented toward operations
efficiency every six years because “people get stale and their good habits disappear.” Similarly,
Mayor Jackson (2009) felt that the implementation of another OETF partnership would keep
people from “going back to their old ways” because “someone was watching.” Apart from the
Hawthorne effect, a public-private partnership oriented toward operations efficiency can alert a
mayor to data-processing problems and to the availability of new technology and software to
drive performance decisions. Thus, a public-private partnership can help a city avoid getting
dangerously behind on automation. Also, the cross-departmental relationships fostered in a

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs


public-private partnership can help a mayor develop a comprehensive approach to service
delivery rather than to rely on a complaint-driven system that fragments administrative

The second implication concerns the timing of a mayoral-led public-private partnership. The
implementation of a public-private partnership is easier politically for newly elected mayors
than for incumbent mayors. Incumbent mayors may be reluctant to implement a needed public-
private partnership because they may not want to give the voters the impression that their
administrations are unstable. The perception of an unstable administration could erode their
chances for reelection. Thus, incumbent mayors should tailor their public-private partnership to
address a few priority issues, as Mayor Voinovich did in his follow-up to the OITF partnership.

The third implication concerns citizen participation. Neither the Voinovich OITF partnership
nor the Jackson OETF partnership incorporated lay citizens. The tendency in a mayoral-led
public-private partnership is to recruit outsiders who can bring specific expertise to advise city
employees. However, there is value for a mayor to work with council members to include lay
citizens in a public-private partnership oriented toward operations improvement because lay
citizens are the true barometers of service quality. As partnership members, lay citizens can
assess the status of service delivery in their neighborhoods, contribute to the design of a public-
private partnerships change proposals, and evaluate service delivery improvements, all from the
perspective of the end users.


This research paper analyzed the good government characteristics of the public-private
partnerships led by Mayor Voinovich and Mayor Jackson in Cleveland, Ohio. Our research
method applied and extended the network theory of McGuire and Agranoff. We evaluated the
Voinovich and Jackson partnerships against the backdrop of five network (partnership)
behaviors: activating, mobilizing, framing, synthesizing, and sustaining. These behaviors were
general categories that not only provided a complete inside picture of both mayoral-led
partnerships but enabled the discernment of their short- and long-term (transformational)
results. The sustained effects of the Voinovich OITF public-private partnership transformed
Cleveland into the “comeback city” after the 1978 municipal default. The sustained effects of the
Jackson OETF public-private partnership positioned Cleveland as the “city of choice” in 2014.
In effect, both mayoral-led public-private partnerships quietly transformed Cleveland’s
government to meet the demands of fewer resources, greater complexity, more transparency,
and more timely decisions in the delivery of public services to citizens.

Finally, it is important to note that no algorithm existed for designing a mayoral-led public
private partnership, even in the single setting of Cleveland. Consequently, the five network
(partnership) behaviors can guide a mayor in adapting a public-private partnership to fit his or
her leadership style, the environment of urban governance, and the urgent needs of citizens.
Furthermore, the findings from our application of network theory may serve as propositions for
future researchers to test. Empirical testing will deepen knowledge about the transformational
effects of a mayoral-led public-private partnership in municipal governance.

The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships


Disclosure Statement

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest that relate to the research, authorship,
or publication of this article.


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deWindt, E. M. (1981). Speech to the University Club, Seattle, Washington. Cleveland,
OH: Eaton Corporation Archives.

Garda, A. L. (2014.). K-12: The Cleveland plan. Retrieved from

Hyra, D. S. (2012). Conceptualizing the new urban renewal: Comparing the past to the present.
Urban Affairs Review, 48, 498-527. doi:10.1177/1078087411434905

Jackson, F. G. (2009). Mayor’s annual report to the citizens of Cleveland, 2008. Cleveland, OH:
Cleveland Mayor’s Office.

McGuire, M., & Agranoff, R. (2011). The limitations of public management networks. Public
Administration, 89, 265-284. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01917.x

McGuire, M., & Agranoff, R. (2014). Network management behaviors: Closing the theoretical
gap. In R. Keast, M. P. Mandell, & R. Agranoff (Eds.), Network theory in the public
sector: building new theoretical frameworks (pp. 137-156). New York, NY: Routledge.

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organizations in public-private partnerships. Public Performance and Management
Review, 35(4), 617-642.

O’Donnell, P., & Guillen, J. (2012). Mayor Frank Jackson, Ohio Governor John Kasich announce
Cleveland schools reform plan. Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved from

Operations Efficiency Task Force. (2006). Final report of phase 1 recommendations. Cleveland,
OH: City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office.

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OH: City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office.

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Author Biographies

Vera Vogelsang-Coombs is an associate professor of public administration and a Voinovich
Fellow at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs of Cleveland State University.
She served on the Operations Efficiency Council the oversight body of Mayor Jackson’s
Operations Efficiency Partnership from 2006–2009.

William M. Denihan is the chief executive officer of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental
Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. He also served on the Operations Efficiency Council,
the oversight body of Mayor Jackson’s Operations Efficiency Partnership from 2006–2009. Mr.
Denihan was involved in Mayor Voinovich’s Operation Improvement Task Force because he
held leadership positions in Cuyahoga County and in state government, including state
personnel director, the director of the State Employment Relations Board (SERB), and other
cabinet level positions under Governor Celeste.

Melanie F. Baur is the manager of programming for the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
Previously she served as research project coordinator in the Office of Senator George Voinovich
in the Urban Center at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs of Cleveland State

  • The Transformative Effect of Public-Private Partnerships by Vogelsang-Coombs, Denihan and Baur
  • Abstract

    Editor’s Note


    Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors

    Research Setting and Methodology

    The Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors in the Voinovich OITF

    Mobilizing Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich

    Framing Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich

    Synthesizing Behavior of Mayor Voinovich

    Sustaining Behaviors of Mayor Voinovich

    The Five Good Government Partnership Behaviors in the Jackson OETF Partnership

    Activating Behaviors of Mayor Jackson

    Mobilizing Activities ofMayor Jackson

    Framing Activities of Mayor Jackson

    Synthesizing Behaviors of Mayor Jackson

    Sustaining Behaviors of Mayor Jackson

    Lessons Learned & Governance Implications


    Disclosure Statement


    Author Biographies

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