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Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:02am

Leesburg Tests City Efficiency Program

The small southwest Georgia city of Leesburg is serving as guinea pig for a new efficiency evaluation program that could eventually help cities across Georgia figure out how well they do everything from customer service to public works.

The Georgia Municipal Association is piloting the new evaluation program to decide if it’s a service the group wants to offer statewide.

GMA’s Amy Henderson said Leesburg’s population of about 5,000 makes it about average for Georgia cities, so it’s a good test subject.

“Also, the city seems to have a mindset of being very interested in planning and knowing where they want to go and then mapping out how they’re going to get there,” Henderson said.

Henderson said the pilot will help the association figure out how much demand exists for an efficiency evaluation and how useful it is. She said some city managers in larger communities may already undertake similar reviews.

“This would be a way for us to offer this to other cities, to say, ‘you know, we can provide this to you.’ Leesburg will help us determine what parts of it work well, where tweaking is needed and those kinds of things,” Henderson said.

The program will use experts in different areas to compare Leesburg to similar cities with similar services as well as established benchmarks.

Henderson said it may be six to nine months before the program is ready to expand if officials decide it’s useful.

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