We need help from our City and Town readers: as part of our annual regionalization conference, and in an effort to better understand what services are already being shared we're conducting a survey. The Regionalization Survey is an opportunity to tell us about your community's efforts to share or regionalize services - or if there have been no efforts so far, why not? And what would or wouldn't you like to try?

Your answers to the 29 survey questions will be presented at the 2 nd annual Regionalization Conference set for Sept. 2 at the College of the Holy Cross, where last year some 350 local elected and appointed officials spent a day at the first such conference.

The survey asks for a bit of demographic information (are you a town manager, member of board of selectmen, department head, etc.) and then dives right into questions designed to reveal the particular areas of regionalized services that most appeal to you: police; ambulance/EMT; public health/health agent; building, plumbing and wiring inspection or zoning enforcement; assessing; accounting; animal control; weights and measures; shared highway equipment; library; recreation; conservation agent; town planner; purchasing.

The survey also asks for your view of the best way(s) to share services; and what in your view are the barriers to sharing more services regionally. The survey asks what your community needs to move regionalization forward; and what, if any, experience and success (or not) your town may have had in a regionalization project.

Finally, the survey asks what other municipal services you might be interested in sharing, and what types of training you would like from the state or a regional planning agency.

I urge you to take the time - about 10 minutes - to respond to the survey. It will provide valuable information and insight into the areas of regionalization which hold the most interest to you, and will also reveal the issues/obstacles you see to regionalization. Again, the results of the survey will be presented at the September 2nd conference in Worcester, and later available online to everyone. My thanks to the Franklin Regional Council of Governments for their assistance in developing and tabulating the survey.