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Role of IGR and Communication in Public Administration - Essay Example

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The Role of IGR and Communication in Public Administration Instructor Institution Date 1. Wichita Confronts Contamination case study Intergovernmental relations are an important aspect to any government that seeks to achieve development. Intergovernmental relations foster development and better understanding between governmental institutions…
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Role of IGR and Communication in Public Administration
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"Role of IGR and Communication in Public Administration"

Download file to see previous pages One such way is through shaping the work of governmental institutions. One situation that helps to illustrate this is the “Wichita Confronts Contamination” case study. In 1990, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) in partnership with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave a disturbing report concerning Wichita, Kansas (Stillman, 2009). According to the report, Wichita sat on a large polluted underground lake. The causes of the all the pollution involved different commercial and industrial chemicals. The contamination spread at a faster rate coupled with fears that it could cause serious health complications such as cancer. The polluted aquifer lay directly below the city’s central business district. Banks, residential homes and industries lay within the six-square mile area. The reaction of the local communities involved persistent calls on the government to respond and do something serious to relieve the situation. In addition to that, the banking sector also stopped giving loans to residents and business owners within Gilbert-Mosley area. The banks became more careful demanding certain requirements before giving out loans. To this effect, banks required inspection of sites and analysis of water and soil samples from a prospective businessperson before granting loan to individuals. The 1990 Listing Site Investigation was the first comprehensive report on the adverse contamination of Wichita. The City Manager’s office estimated that it would cost $20 million to clean the aquifer. The negative thing about the entire process was that it would take as many as 20 years. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) report recommended only two options to remedy the situation. These were either for the companies responsible for the contamination to undertake joint cleaning of the area or for the state to push the inclusion of the contaminated area in the National Priority Listing. This problem had serious effects for the city. The potential economic impact would drain the city of its economic achievements. About 508 businesses got identification as Potential Responsible Parties as determined by the Superfund Law. The city’s tax base faced risk from liability and bank-imposed real estate freeze. Cherches, who was at the time the city manager, had the responsibility to map a way forward in solving the problem. He took into account the two recommendations given by KDHE. The most important things to the city were to clean the aquifer and maintain the values of properties. They could only achieve this if the banks agreed to continue giving loans. Finally, the city manager decided to throw out the two options suggested by KDHE and came with a third option. The city was to take full responsibility for the cleanup. This presented the question of how to raise funds to finance for the cleanup. The dilemma presented a number of intergovernmental relations (IGR) actors. These included the business owners, KDHE, EPA, the city manager’s office, Wichita City Council, the school board, lenders and the state legislature. Each of these actors had a role to play in ensuring proper representation of interests. KDHE, for instance, had a reputation to uphold. The Wichita School Board and Sedgwick County Council’s tax base faced destabilization. Banks had a role to pay in ensuring that Wichita’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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