Metro Vancouver. The new moniker for this region is certainly easier to remember and roll off the tongue than its predecessor, the Greater Vancouver Regional District.
And while some debate the value of the change, and its consequences in terms of external perception, the name change has prompted many to wonder if the initiative shouldn’t also be a step toward a more centralized governance structure, as the new label suggests.
After all, with 21 member municipalities included in Metro Vancouver – and all they represent in terms of duplicated services, buildings, and legions of bureaucrats and civic politicians – surely there must be significant efficiencies to be gained by merging municipalities in the region.
Not necessarily, the experts say. Pointing to similar initiatives in Toronto and Montreal, they cite expenditure increases – not savings – after those cities went through regional amalgamation. The reasons are varied, not the least of which were continued public expectations of decentralized services and local representation.
It’s hard to argue with the evidence, although we maintain the concept ought not to be dismissed entirely, or that there aren’t lessons to be learned from those models.
Having nearly two dozen separate civic entities serving 2.2 million people doesn’t seem to be the most efficient model of governance possible.
Giving credence to that observation would be the relatively recent efforts to improve communication and response between a complex array of independent fire departments, and municipal and federal police forces.
Indeed, the region already stands as a good example of centralization, particularly in terms of water reservoirs, waste management and sewer treatment services.
The success and smooth operation of that type of regional infrastructure should motivate further innovation. The formation of a regional …
Recently accused by a local planning commissioner of being a dishonest journalist, I reviewed my notebooks for moral reassurance. I found notes from an interview I once did with a city planning-department staffer in charge of maps. This Galilean fundamentalist believed that satellite enhanced geography was the queen of the sciences and would set us free. I honestly reported this lunacy for the local newspaper.
Our little region of the globe contains three north San Joaquin Valley CA counties in the largest parts of two congressional districts formerly known as Pombozastan in honor of representatives Pombo and Cardoza, of anti-Endangered Species Act fame. The three county seats are tops in the nation for mortgage foreclosures. Three other Central California cities, Sacramento, Fresno and Bakersfield, also score high for mortgage foreclosure rates. These land-use jurisdictions, whose elected officials approved the massive construction boom driven by speculation, are awash in debt and planning maps: county limits, city limits, specific urban development plans, spheres of influence, blueprints, greenprints and regional partnerships.
Years ago, state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, irritated with local governments in Northern California, advanced an idea to consolidate its 50 counties into conveniently large land-use jurisdictions like the eight counties south of the Tehachapis, which contain the largest population in the state. I don't remember the speaker's exact political purpose for this suggestion, but it threatened the livelihoods and power of thousands of county officials, presumably to some positive outcome for the speaker's agenda at the time. To my knowledge, Brown's proposal has not returned in his forthright terms, but it has gained momentum by other means.
As anyone knows, whose life has detoured for some reason into the intellectual sump called "land-use planning" in California, the topic is rich in absurdity and cannot be faced, let alone comprehended …
3. Sacramento region drops on Prosperity Index - Bizjournals.com
The Sacramento region is falling behind even more of its competitors when it comes to business climate.
The region fell in the second quarter from No. 9 to 10th place among 11 western U.S. markets with which Sacramento competes for new businesses, according to the latest Prosperity Index report released today. The area comprising Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter and Yuba counties dropped below Portland, Ore. Sacramento's business climate remained better than that of Denver and topped the national average.
The Prosperity Index is compiled by the Sacramento Regional Research Institute, a joint venture of California State University Sacramento and the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization. The institute compiles a business climate report each quarter and a larger report annually that also includes comparisons of "people" and "place" measurements. The next annual report will be released in the fall.
In the business component for the second quarter, the Sacramento region scored 3.5 out of a possible 10, down from 4.3 in the first quarter. Scores fell for job growth, unemployment rate and payroll growth, while the area posted gains in venture capital investment, office vacancy rate and growth of new businesses.
Salt Lake City took the top slot among 11 Western markets for business climate, overtaking Phoenix. In other changes since the first-quarter report, Denver and the national average switched places on the list, with the United States average falling to last place. This demonstrates, the report said, "that all of these competitive economies in the western United States present some of the strongest business climates in the nation."
What's happening, said institute director Ryan Sharp, is that all the regions are experiencing slower job and payroll growth. Salt Lake City is just slowing more gradually than everyone else. Like Sacramento, the regions studied have been dealt ...
4. Cleveland development chief Chris Warren calls for regional thinking - The Plain Dealer
Cleveland's new economic development chief said Tuesday that if the city and the region want to grow, leaders should work toward more joint development, shared taxes and mandatory "green" building standards.
Chris Warren, the city's first regional economic development director, said he's working with Mayor Frank Jackson on a game plan for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio that could include:
A partnership with Brook Park that would allow the two cities to market and support projects on private and public land near the airport. They could share the taxes.
Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient building standards on new construction projects in Cleveland that receive city money.
A type of luxury tax on new development in outlying suburbs, including those outside Cuyahoga County. A portion of the taxes generated from new development in these suburbs could go into a regional redevelopment fund.
He called the city's high number of abandoned properties a "new frontier" for development, noting that the East Side neighborhoods of Hough and Central have the largest concentration of publicly owned land in the city.
He spoke broadly about the importance of regional cooperation and improving educational and employment opportunities for Clevelanders. He stressed that the suburbs need to realize that as Cleveland goes, so goes the region.
Warren acknowledged the ideas he discussed Tuesday are broad and sweeping - and ambitious for an administration guaranteed just two more years in office. Jackson's term ends in 2009.
5. Planning consultant sets intergovernmental cooperation as top goal - The Commercial Dispatch – MS, USA
A committee formed to help develop a comprehensive plan for Lowndes County now has begun the process of formulating recommended policies for the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors.
Chris Watson, the planning consultant hired by the county, presented the committee members Tuesday with some suggested goals and objectives from which to work.
The committee will use comments received during public meetings held in New Hope, Anderson Grove, West Lowndes, Crawford and at the Trotter Convention Center to form goals, objectives and policies in seven areas: Intergovernmental cooperation, economic development, general infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, education, long-range planning and land use regulation.
“The most important long-term thing that's got to happen in Lowndes County is intergovernmental cooperation,” Watson said. “We can add to that - good leadership. Leadership and intergovernmental cooperation is going to be key to moving the county forward.”
Acknowledging some efforts already have begun, especially with the formation of a city-county intergovernmental committee, Watson suggested the long-range planning committee work on establishing objectives and policies “to create and maintain an atmosphere, countywide, whereby governmental entities strive to work in unison for the betterment of all of Lowndes County.”
Additionally, the committee will formulate objectives and policies to “create and maintain a positive image of the leadership capabilities within Lowndes County.”
“Cooperation among the various governmental entities within the county is critical in order to maintain the best for the county,” Watson noted. “Much more can be achieved when everyone is pulling in the same direction. Organization and cooperation are required for Lowndes County to compete with neighboring communities.”
Additionally, the committee will formulate objectives and/or policies concerning the following recommended goals:
6. Micro-loans changing the face and future of rural Minnesota - Twin Cities Planet, MN, USA
Micro-lending is changing rural Minnesota – region by region, county by county, city by city -- as word of new kinds of loans and business development services has spread to aspiring entrepreneurs.
You can throw in gender by gender and ethnic group by ethnic group as well, says Berny Berger, micro-enterprise program officer for the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Hutchinson.
Micro-loans, generally of less than $30,000, are frequently extended to nontraditional borrowers.
Since 2003, Southwest Initiative has made 113 micro enterprise loans totaling $1.25 million for start-up and small businesses. The average loan is about $10,000; the smallest so far was $500 for a new business.
Southwest Initiative is one of several regional offices established by the McKnight Foundation to foster economic development through grants, loans and technical training programs. Most micro-loans are made to start-up and small companies lacking the equity or assets usually needed to leverage commercial loans.
“There are some limited liability companies in the program, but most are independent or individual proprietorships,” Berger said. “You might say we specialize in helping ‘Mom and Pop’ entrepreneurs and especially a lot of Moms.”
More than half of the entrepreneurs helped by the loan program have been women. And reflecting demographic changes in rural Minnesota, 25 percent of the loan recipients are minority business entrepreneurs.
The four regional centers in the 18-county area served by Southwest Initiative – Hutchinson, Marshall, Willmar and Worthington -- are magnets for new immigrants to Minnesota. They bring “a lot of creativity, a lot of new entrepreneurs,” Berger said.
Reaching prospective entrepreneurs in small towns far from regional centers remains a challenge, ...
The Aspen Institute lists 500 micro-lending institutions now at work across the United States. Check here for micro- enterprise and lending programs in Minnesota.
7. Surprise hopes to keep seat on transit policy panel - Arizona Republic
Surprise may be in danger of losing a seat on the Maricopa Association of Governments' Transportation Policy Committee, which has a stake in dishing millions of transportation dollars across the Valley.
The city does not want to lose the position, even temporarily. But the decision to fill the now-vacant slot rests with the collective leadership of MAG's Regional Council, which could make its choice as early as Wednesday or as late as its Sept. 26 meeting.
As of this week, support for Surprise appeared mixed, causing concern among the city's leaders.
The regional seat became vacant June 1 when Cliff Elkins stepped down from the Surprise City Council to run for mayor. Elkins was required by law to resign his council seat and his council-related duties to run for mayor, because he was not in the last year of his council term. Elkins, a transportation expert, was Surprise's representative on MAG's transportation panel.
MAG Chairman Jim Cavanaugh, mayor of Goodyear, said the Regional Council likely would support the collective choice of Northwest Valley mayors.
The MAG Regional Council is made up of 25 elected officials from cities and towns throughout Maricopa County. Its 23-member transportation committee is comprised of both elected officials and members of the private sector. Seats on the panel are reserved for Phoenix and the county's seven next-largest cities, which currently are Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale and Tempe. Several other seats are available for county representatives and other cities and towns.
8. State reaches settlement on gas emissions - Los Angeles Times
San Bernardino County, one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, will be forced to measure how much it contributes to global warming and set targets to begin cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in the next 2 1/2 years, according to a legal settlement announced Tuesday.
The case, brought by Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, had opened a new front in the battle against climate change, which has so far been dominated by efforts to regulate power plants, industrial factories and vehicle tailpipe emissions.
Counties across California are grappling -- some voluntarily and others reluctantly -- with the realization that local decisions about where to allow new subdivisions and roads, and how buildings are constructed, are factors in the climate changes that are depleting the water supply, fueling forest fires and amplifying air pollution in the state.
"Sprawl is something that hasn't been thought about," Brown said. …
San Bernardino County, famous for its sprawling subdivisions, currently generates about 10 trips per household per day, and more than 84% of the work trips are made by vehicle. It needs "elegant density, with people living closer to where they work," Brown said. "This could be a very difficult shift."
The attorney general argues that California's 1970 Environmental Quality Act, which has traditionally addressed the air and water pollution effects of development, also covers carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
His lawsuit had raised the ire of local officials, builders and industry groups. And Republicans in the Legislature, outraged by Brown's aggressive stance, had blocked passage of the state budget, demanding that the Environmental Quality Act be exempt from regulating global warming. In a compromise Tuesday, lawmakers agreed that by 2010, new rules would be adopted spelling out how to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions of projects covered by the law.
9. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Highlighted words are Google search terms. In this and the following section, links to websites of organizations are added to the news excerpt when this is the first time an organization has been found. A goal of this newsletter is to find every regional council in the U.S. in a news story. In most cases, where a full name is present a Google search will quickly get one to that organization.
.10 Regional Bank System Increasing Loans
As the housing crisis worsens and the Federal Reserve has swooped into the market to ensure liquidity, the 12 regional banks are making more cash available to banks and thrifts that make mortgage loans. ...
.11 Mayor recognized for intergovernmental unity
Community Press – Cincinnati , OH, USA
… Meier will be honored with the Intergovernmental Unity of Effort award for an individual at the Northern Kentucky Area Development District's (NKADD) annual dinner meeting. …
.12 Let's employ a sound strategy for workers
"Think globally, act regionally, benefit locally."I wish I had coined this phrase, but have to attribute it to Ed Barlow, the president of Creating the Future Inc., and a recent guest speaker at our South Central Tennessee Workforce Board ...
.13 Rockland hires law firm to go after federal airspace redesign plan
White Plains Journal News, NY
… whether the FAA violated noise mitigation laws while crafting its five state airspace redesign project. As part of the FAA plan, a new flight path could bring as many as 600 planes over Rockland …
.14 Council of governments explores consolidated services and buying
Mid-Hudson News – NY, USA
Monticello - The Sullivan County Council of Governments continues to explore consolidating services between the county and its municipalities. ...
.15 Suddenly, LAX expansion is back on the table
Los Angeles Daily News – CA, USA
Isn't that what regionalization of air travel means? Isn't the goal to use Ontario and Palmdale to a greater extent, to force Orange County to carry its share of the burden of traffic and congestion?
.16 $1423074 Invested in Kentucky Agricultural Diversification
All American Patriots (press release) - Taeby,NA,Sweden
Buffalo Trace Area Development District was approved for $150000 in Mason County funds to administer a menu approach for five model programs including: ...
.17 Website hopes to connect world to CNY and NNY
News 10 Now – NY, USA
Community and business leaders from across the region say it's a way to connect the world to much of Central and Northern New York. They've announced a new web site called the “Creative Core” which will serve as a gateway to a number of local and regional websites. ...
.18 Purdue Research Park Announces Awards for Entrepreneurship Academy
Business Wire (press release)
The program is designed to integrate federal, state and local investments in work force development and economic development. Through the Center for Regional Development, Purdue's Office of Engagement is involved with the project.
Cleveland Plain Dealer – OH, USA
Public support for the concept of regionalism in Northeast Ohio has spread. The economic rationale for it has come into clearer focus, as many county residents find that they are paying more local taxes, but getting less service. ...
.20 Report: New Orleans still lacks jobs
'The difference between the regions may be attributed in part to the fact that most residents in the southwest regions returned to their homes fairly quickly, whereas residents in the southeast were unable to return to their homes for a significant amount of time,' ...
.21 Commuters Contemplate Proposed Regional Transit Authority
WISCTV-com – Madison, WI
The Dane County Board of Supervisors on Friday approved the idea of creating a countywide Regional Transit Authority. Board members voted to support the RTA in a meeting lasting until the early-morning hours by a 22-13 vote.
The Tribune-Democrat – PA, USA
Summerhill Township supervisors made a wise decision to rejoin the Forest Hills Regional Alliance. Their return will benefit not only residents of the township, but the alliance as well, making it even stronger. ...
Worcester Business Journal – MA, USA
... American Chamber of Commerce Executives' regionalism and sustainable development program. ... was created at the chamber of commerce executives group with money from the Ford Foundation and the Heinz Foundation....
.24 League to Save Lake Tahoe turns 50: The environmental organization celebrates five decades of keeping Tahoe blue
Nevada Appeal - Carson City,NV,USA
... said the organization's initial focus was divided between establishing state parks in the basin and controlling regional development. ...
Chesapeake and Fairfax County each will receive $1.9 million in grants, and Harrisonburg-Rockingham County will receive $1.2 million, to establish the radio caches. The localities submitted regional proposals that allow for the deployment of the equipment statewide, if requested. ...
10. Other in the news: Highlighted words are Google search terms.
Channel News Asia
Representatives from five South East Asian countries along with Japan and Australia took part in a Regional Haze Dialogue in Singapore on Monday. ...
.11 Self-abusive Governance
Hungary’s system of minority self-government is a complicated affair, but when a third level of minority representation was added this spring, many Romani leaders and activists welcomed the addition of a regional dimension as a way to bridge the gap between the national and local levels. “Regional minority self-government was missing for a long time here. It will help us to communicate closely with the national Romani self-government,"
.12 The Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs
RealClearPolitics - Chicago,IL,USA
The process of territorialization of the seas has been twofold: the "enlarging" of territorial waters from 12 miles to 200 miles, but also the "deepening" ...
.13 Province teams with Evergreen in $1 million tree planting partnership
… working in partnership with Evergreen, a non-profit environmental organization, will invest $1 million over two years, in a province-wide program to support the planting of 100,000 trees. …
Members of the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly have unanimously called on the Taoiseach and the Government to immediately prepare an Irish Government Aviation Policy and end the monopoly of airlines in deciding to remove strategically significant services. …
.15 The GTA fiscal family: All over the map
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
The residents of bustling York Region would be the brash 20-somethings, living fast and without fear of rising debt - supremely confident in their ability ...
.16 Africa: AU Calls Region to Integrate
African economies must integrate if they are to get out of poverty and achieve the much desired development agendas, a leading continental ministerial group has said.
.17 Zimbabwe: Regional Research Bodies Adopt Energy Blue-Print
SCIENTIFIC and research bodies from southern Africa have adopted a blue-print on ways to mitigate the current energy and water shortages in the region. ...
"Biotechnology products have proven to be nutritious, and have more resistance to pests and disease attacks. ... He said the use of biotechnology was cheap, simple and safe for the environment. ...
.19 World Population Ageing 2007
TheMatureMarket.com (press release)
It considers the process of population ageing for the world as a whole, for more and less developed regions, major areas and regions, as well as individual countries. Demographic profiles covering the period 1950 to 2050 are provided for each country, ...
.20 Small Step Forward On Zimbabwe By Regional Summit - Analysts
Voice of America
The SADC summit that ended Friday was tougher on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe than expected, as diplomatic sources said his fellow regional leaders insisted that he institute democratic reforms and economic policy changes before they would assemble an bailout package to relieve food, fuel and electricity shortages. ...
INQ7.net - MANILA, Philippines
The government has formed Regional Minerals Development Councils to better coordinate the implementation of mining projects in the country’s regions. ...
.22 North-east rural stores get touch screen technology in Rural Shops Alliance Move
Talking Retail - UK
The initiative has been introduced by the Rural Shops Alliance and the North East Regional Development Agency and if the trial is successful, it could be rolled out to 300 other stores in the area.
.23 Richmond County business ready to put it all online
Cape Breton Post - Cape Breton,Nova Scotia,Canada
PETER'S -- Now that Richmond County has widespread access to broadband Internet, a regional development agency is launching an effort to encourage ...
.24 Southern Africa: SADC Signs in Four Legal Instruments
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed in four legal instruments at the end of the regional body's 27th two-day summit in Zambia, Lusaka. ... the protocol on gender could not be signed because some countries were still consulting. ...
.25 Egypt to place more regions on its tourism map
Travel Daily News International
… Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) full responsibility for compiling a full Strategic Market Planning Report in order to turn the two areas into Economic or Investment Regions, …
.26 East Africa: Regional Website Launched
Mulira urged the regional business community and policy makers to visit the portal. The website will provide online services related to quality standards in the East African Community,
.27 Rio Says Africa May Be Next Growth Region, Plans Board Visit
Rio Tinto Group, the world's third- largest mining company, said the board will visit Africa next month, underlying its view the poorest continent may become the next growth region in 20 years and sustain the commodity rally. …
11. Blogs: Highlighted words are Google search terms.
.10 Bridging Eras, Transitioning Images
By Jeff James
Legendary marketing guru Al Ries has suggested that companies or branded products can only "own" one position in a consumer's mind. Those brands that focus on a powerful, singular image are more successful than those who try to stand for two or more things at once. … " This concept is applicable to regions as well.
.11 Planning for the "Reasonable Disaster"
That’s where the concept of regional resiliency comes in to focus. A program to work on regional resilience has been established at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that is designed to study the ways in which one region, the Southeastern portion of the United States can deal with a multi-threat scenario. …
.12 Black Leadership and Regionalism
The annual CAAO Black Leadership Retreat on Saturday, Aug. 25, will focus on issues of trust building, cultural competence and reconnecting to the critical issues that are impacting the Black community in the new age of regionalism. ...
This is the first part of a five-part series on our travels to run this week. Parts two and three will focus on the cities we visited, with brief updates on their struggles for livable streets. Part four will describe in greater detail the trains we rode and the sights we saw. Part five will compare the cities to one another in terms of livable streets, pedestrian-friendly development and intermodal transportation.
.14 This Is Not The Market For Unrealistic Sellers
By Ben Jones
And we don't really know right now what the future holds if you go out a year or two from now,' says Tim Flathers, with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission in Bemidji. 'Are we just at the tip of the iceberg? I'm not sure. ...
"This is an initial body of work that we will use to develop short- and long-term strategies for regional development," says Kitchens. "It builds on previous work that both The Right Place and Southwest Michigan First have done, ...
.16 Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy (GVUAS) Meeting
In British Columbia, there are two designated cities: Greater Vancouver (inclusive of Regional District) and Prince George. The UAS makes it possible for local Aboriginal and community organizations, governments and the private sector ...
Response to catastrophic events requires collaboration and trust in a broad network of organizations."
.18 The Eat-Local Backlash
By Oakmont Farmers Market(Oakmont Farmers Market)
But ideally, North Carolinians could eat regionally year-round if we organized to leverage these regional differences. What if the west provided the bulk of the state's food production in the summer months, and the east did so in the ...
.19 The Northern Way Virtual Gateway Commission [UK]
The Northern Way a unique collaboration of regions and cities from across the North of England, led by the three Northern Regional Development Agencies: Yorkshire Forward, Northwest Regional Development Agency and One NorthEast. ...
.20 Let's Agree to Disagree, but Also Agree?
But in the end, what this kind of vibrant regionalism requires is something much more difficult to obtain than a slogan. It is a renewed appreciation for society over and against both the individual and the state. ...
.21 America's Siberia
By Jim Fedako
At the same time, the US suffers due to redistributive measures that support residents in regions that no longer provide jobs. In both cases, residents remain in areas that are unproductive while the rest of their respective nations ...
.22 Venezuelan Constitution changed to help create Socialism
Declaring that, "regionalism, is dogma, that impedes change, [and] we can not accept situations that create Caudillos," he said the new law would allow for the creation, through popular referendum, of "federal districts" in specific ...
.23 Kyrgyz Crossword
By Бакыт Бешимов(Бакыт Бешимов)
Now they are desperately searching for a cure against regionalism in order to find a way to reach the wider public. They have not succeeded in turning their ideology into a philosophy of the masses. Thus, Kyrgyz oppositionists ...
.24 LA Social Forum Meeting / Future Meeting Schedule
By Steve Gibson(LA IMC)
People are planning a Social Forum in Los Angeles in February 2008. This will be a city and regional affiliate of the World Social Forums. More information at the following links: Los Angeles Social Forum
.25 Regionalism as an Alternative to Globalization: the East Asian Case
By BELLO Walden
With globalization in trouble and in retreat, is the way out for countries seeking genuine development participation in regional blocs? ...
12. Announcements and Regional Links
Scroll down to ad. Contact: Shelley Owens, Interim Executive Director, 103 E. Sixth St., Front Royal, Virginia 22630
.11 Senior Planner, National Planning Commission - Banjul, The Gambia
Deadline for application: 24th August 2007
.12 Tri-State Region - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tri-State Region is commonly used in the area surrounding New York City to unambiguously refer to the greater metropolitan area. ...
.13 UNOSAT Satellite Imagery for All
This map illustrates the estimated population density for the earthquake affected Regions of western Peru. The population density (LandScan) has been estimated for 2004 and produced by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ...
.10 UPDATE-National Development Agency holds all-day street festival in downtown Budapest - MTI (Subscription)
The National Development Agency took over tree-lined Andrassy Boulevard, an elegant residential thoroughfare in downtown Budapest on Sunday, for an all-day festival marking St. Stephen's Day, a national holiday commemorating the founding of Hungary over a thousand years ago.
Addressing the gathering, Regional Development Minister Gordon Bajnai called on people to have fun.
"Unless we manage to change our overall attitude of discontent, mistrust, and trying to find fault with everything, no amount of money will be able to turn Hungary into a place that's good to live in," he said.
.11 Regional Emergency Dispatch Possible With Latest Technology – The Day, CT, USA
Recent and planned upgrades to Waterford's emergency dispatch center will catapult the town into the forefront of Connecticut first-responder communications.
The upgrades put Waterford in a position to become a central hub of a regional emergency dispatch system for surrounding municipalities such as East Lyme, Montville and New London, offering better communication in times of trouble and probably saving taxpayers some money.
It could be a contender, that is, if communities decide a central hub makes sense, and that's the topic of a regional discussion that is just beginning.
“Would a regional dispatch center work for us, theoretically? Absolutely,” said East Lyme Public Safety Director Richard Morris. “In theory it's a perfect situation; in detail it's a massive undertaking.”
“The technology is there,” said Wayne Sanford, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
“The hard part is getting everyone to buy into it.”
Regionalization requires a great deal of cooperation from all communities involved, and overcoming the inertia of municipal government is not an easy task.
“It's definitely in sync with the direction our agency is going,” Sanford said. Regionalization of emergency dispatch provides “a better level of service, especially when there are multiple incidents going on at the same time.”
Towns generally rely on their own dispatch centers to handle emergency communications. With 169 municipalities in the state, there are 132 Public Safety Access Points — the phone units that allow for 911 calls.
But Sanford said that some towns in Connecticut are starting to consolidate their 911-dispatch. Eleven towns in Tolland County, for instance, are jointly dispatched.
Meanwhile, California has three dispatch centers for the entire state, Sanford said, and Rhode Island has a single 911-dispatch center.
East Lyme employs three full-time dispatchers and nine part-time employees for weekend shifts. …
Other menu sections available from this link include: Regional Development; Regional Council; Regional Commission; Regional America; Regional Asia; Regional Europe; Regional Competition; Regionalism; Intergovernmental and other search terms. They can be sorted by date or relevance. These are among the 50 search terms I use to produce this newsletter.