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This Preliminary Assessment represents a response to an important and timely request for information from the Governor's Strategic Planning Council. This report represents a limited response based on findings and principles from existing applied studies, academic literature, and input from a knowledgeable range of expertise from the private and public sectors represented on the Iowa Research Council Public Finance Study Development Committee. The intended purpose of this report is to provide a basis for discussion by the Governor's Strategic Planning Council as well as other state and local policymakers, leaders and citizens. The specific questions provided to the Iowa Research Council included: (1) Is there potential to generate significant savings from consolidation of public services across counties, schools and cities? (2) Will any potential savings from government consolidation be significant enough to fund major new statewide initiatives? (3) Is telecommunications technology changing the economies ofscale for provision of public services? (4) What are the alternative strategies for efficient provision of public services in areas of growth and decline?