George V. Voinovich, Empowering the Public‐Private Partnership: The Future of America's Local Government (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2017). 97 pp. $19.95. ISBN‐13: 9780821422663

AuthorSharon Paynter
Published date01 July 2019
Date01 July 2019
614 Public Administration Review July | Augu st 20 19
Reviewed by: Sharon Paynter
East Carolina University
Senator George Voinovich’s (2017) latest, and
last, book is a testament to the lessons learned
through mutually beneficial public–private
partnerships (P3). His work with actors across the
political spectrum and with partners from industry
to private investors changed the landscape of
communities across Ohio, most notably in Cleveland.
This book is a departure from the current national
political climate punctuated by partisanship. Instead,
it offers a reflection on nonpartisan, collaborative
leadership strategies that manifested in successful
economic development and community revitalization
efforts. The result is a short, but useful, “how-to
guide” for students and community development
practitioners on building collaborative networks.
A P3 is a powerful, and formal, arrangement that is
a tool for problem solving for the betterment of the
general public. At their best, P3s are outcome-based
and pragmatic. The book begins with a description
of the first formal P3 that Voinovich helped to
create: the Cleveland Operations Improvement Task
Force (OITF).
Early in Chapter 1, Voinovich notes, almost as an
aside, that his experience suggests state and federal
government should have limited roles in financing
local government given the country’s national debt
(14). Given the prolonged effects of the Great
Recession, recent natural disasters, and global
conflicts, it is easy to see the wisdom in the learned
experiences of Voinovich, OITF, and Cleveland.
But even when setbacks happen, as with the fiscal
challenges, bankruptcy, and financial recovery of
Cleveland, it is important to face challenges head on,
with honesty and transparency (43).
The reader would benefit from knowing more about
Voinovichs history as context for his approach
to governing. The senator was born and raised in
Cleveland. He was the oldest of six children—perhaps
the role in which he first learned to be a leader and
negotiator. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree
Sharon Paynter serves as the assistant
vice chancellor for community engagement
and research and as associate professor of
political science at East Carolina University.
Her research has been focused on public
policy questions related to poverty and
hunger and the social safety net, with more
recent examination of the role universities
play in community and economic
George V. Voinovich, Empowering the Public-Private
Partnership: The Future of America’s Local Government
(Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2017). 97 pp. $19.95.
ISBN-13: 9780821422663
Public Administration Review,
Vol. 79, Iss. 4, pp. 614–615. © 2019 by
The American Society for Public Administration.
DOI: 10.1111/puar.13081.

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