A compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development.
Published on line since November 11, 2003.
Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.
Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .17
Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .04
Announcements and Regional Links … 13.01 - .03
Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02
Bold Italic highlights search terms and/or phrases of interest.
In today’s highly competitive area of quality economic development, no community can afford to try to stand alone. Corporations seeking the right location for new and expanded operations do not view things from that perspective. The more desirable the company, the more likely it is to consider the assets and liabilities of a multi-county, even multi-state region in making its site decision.
Today’s global economy rewards larger aggregations of human, financial and other resources. Regional groupings often transcend traditional borders and create new communities of interest, both formal and informal, that combine shared assets, values and aspirations. Importantly, they help rural economies elevate their scales of operation, and make them able to effectively compete with more urbanized areas. The workforce of
Regionalism is based on understanding that political jurisdictions often do not match real world economic conditions. In an era of ever accelerating rates of change, virtually all organizations face highly challenging circumstances, with significant competition in even the public and nonprofit sectors. In such conditions, static communities and companies fare poorly.
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hand separately.”
Benjamin Franklin’s famous words at the signing of the Declaration of Independence are relevant today in the context of communities declaring their interdependence on one another for their future individual and collective economic vitality. Each benefits from its neighbors’ strengths; each is penalized by their weaknesses. And while they will on occasion compete against each other for jobs, in the overall analysis they will for better or worse be evaluated as partners by those companies they are trying to attract.
2. Without growth, regionalism is cannibalism - The Detroit News -
From where L. Brooks Patterson sits, regionalism is starting to look less like a two-way street and more like a drain that will empty
The county executive popped his top on hearing an exuberant Detroit Mayor Dave Bing invite the Pistons to forsake their
Patterson is getting the usual rebukes for not being a good regional player, but he raises a valid point. Rebuilding
In a stagnant region, with few new businesses starting and a net loss of population, anything
You can make the contrary argument that
They helped create communities that are now every bit as legitimate as
… A strong central city provides indirect benefits to the suburbs, but not enough to make up for a devastated tax base. It
Robbing Brooks to pay Bing will shift around the region
More area leaders need to be thinking along the same lines as Saginaw Township Supervisor Tim Braun.
In his State of the Township … touched on some things that are key for our area but sometimes resisted: Regionalism and cooperation between municipalities.
Braun offered his support for the upcoming countywide millage to support the
Then he went further, saying he wanted to explore ways to cooperate as a region that will save taxpayers money and cut utility costs. He said the township already had reached out to other communities to determine how to get the most bang for their buck.
“By this time next year, we will have found ways to use cooperation to save your tax dollars,” he said in the address.
… Now, let the conversation begin in earnest around the region, and let it include something even more important to saving money and doing away with duplicate layers of bureaucracy: Metropolitan government.
Radical, some will say, although the idea isn’t new. It’s been kicked around before. And in some instances we do mean kicked.
Unfortunately, some people like the idea of separate, little fiefdoms. They don’t want to share services even if it would also mean sharing the expense. They like the control of having their own fire department, their own police department, their own road crews, etc.
For folks of this mindset, even regional cooperation is a hard sell.
But regional cooperation on par with what Braun is proposing will take our community only so far. It will save us only so much money.
What we need in
4. Hefty turnout nets big victory for regionalization - Nashoba Publishing - Ayer, MA,
It was an historic vote and obvious from the outset which way it would go.
The single article on the March 6 Special Town Meeting warrant proposed forming an
Crowd responses and the few people who stood to speak told the story early on. For or against, people didn
Of 671 ballots cast, 508 voters said yes, 161 said no and two ballots were left blank; 706 registered voters were checked in.
Regionalization Planning Board Chairman Mike Swanton gave a 45-minute presentation that Knittel had said would be limited to half that time.
Finance Committee Chairman Frank Kolarik also went over budgeted time as he explained why the committee voted 4-1 to recommend regionalization: because they believe it is affordable and will stem the flow of choice-out to other districts, which costs the town $1million a year.
"I believe regionalization will solve our problems," he said. "There
The Board of Selectmen did not agree. Though outnumbered, they had their say.
Selectman Kendra Dumont said the board had not received enough data to decide if regionalization would help or hurt the town.
Chairman Andy Deveau …
And if regionalization produces savings, it will go into the school district, Deveau concluded. "None of it will come back to the town."
As the state Legislature grapples with
Last month, state Reps. Kevin Ryan, D-Montville, and Betsy Ritter, D-Waterford, were appointed to the Commission on Municipal Opportunities and Regional Efficiencies, a 45-member Democratic panel exploring ways municipalities can save money by pooling resources.
The commission released its initial recommendations March 3, …
“Many of our towns could save money by joining with other towns to provide benefits to municipal employees,” he said. “Regionalizing is a way to provide our towns and local taxpayers a much-needed financial boost during these difficult economic times without devastating
James Butler, executive director of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, applauded state leaders’ efforts to think regionally.
But he declined to comment on the commission because of its partisan makeup. The council works in a nonpartisan way to promote regional planning,
“COG is all for the state encouraging and enhancing our ability to do projects and provide services regionally,” he said. “I think the COGs and other regional planning organizations have already saved their municipalities money.”
The chairman of
“The time has come that all municipalities look at sharing resources and ways of improving economics with their cities,” Charles Jaskiewicz said. “There is a lot of replication of costs that can probably be shared.”
But challenges exist.
“One of the things that’s going to be tough to break is, 169 cities and towns really want to remain autonomous,” Jaskiewicz said. “What I want the people in those towns to understand is, you can still maintain your autonomy but share resources that are still cost-effective on a larger level.”
Just a few minutes into the third and final public forum on regionalism this past week, the jealousy appeared.
Simply not being on the same page — for decades — has done little but foster such animosity on both sides of the river.
Perhaps if all sides of our community had been talking together about common wants and needs, some of these petty complaints of “competition” wouldn’t be an issue at all.
But despite the question …, which seemed to indicate at least a few people wish the communities would continue to work separately, … a growing majority of business people see just the opposite.
For our community to succeed, we must work together on projects that make sense to do so.
We’ll also compete with one another sometimes, too, but that spirit of competition needs to be a productive one, not a destructive one.
… a couple of things were obvious.
First, no one ever said that working together was going to be easy.
Regionalism is going to mean that everyone involved gets a little dirty because we’ll have to work at it.
Working together isn’t simple or always fun. It’s going to be work.
For regionalism to truly work, we’ll all have to give up some territory, either physical territory or territory of perception. Something will have to give on each side of the river.
But the greater goal — not personal gain — has to be at the heart of what’s driving this.
Ultimately, regionalism isn’t something that can be accomplished by a handful of people — particularly a handful of mostly elected officials.
Sure, they have a role to play, but ultimately if something is to get done, it will be by individuals who simply have a passion for some segment of the work that’s to be done.
7. No regional brand?! Oh, we
Ryan Spain and the Heartland Partnership are cooking up a new idea:
The idea behind the project is to brand the
It would be a comprehensive approach to selling the region to tourism groups and those who could come to
“I would argue we don’t have anything now,” he said. “The timing and the urgency for creating a brand for our region … if we don’t have one, we run the risk of someone doing it for us. It may or may not be what we want to be known for.”
You gotta love marketing people. Urgency? Risk?
This kind of exaggeration reminds me of someone… a salesman I heard once. Ah yes, I can just hear Mr.
“Either you’re closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the absence of regional branding in your community. Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in
26 comments to No regional brand?! Oh, we’ve got trouble, my friends!
... I don’t know if I want
But god, someone thwart these idiots before we are branded as the “The Center of the Universe in
When Labour came to power in 1997 it set about on a programme of devolution which included creating a Scottish Parliament and assemblies in
But the new government also set up nine regional assemblies in
In this part of the world we got the East of England Regional Assembly (Eera), comprised of around 100 members made of mostly councillors and stakeholders namely representatives of a range of groups representing businesses, charities, environmental organisations and faith groups.
Set up in 1999 the assembly was part a regional triumvirate which also included the East of England Development Agency, whose work it would scrutinise, and Go-East, the government office in the East of England.
In its annual report outgoing chairman John Reynolds said the assembly had succeeded in bringing together politicians of different colours and stakeholders of different interests to respond to some of the most challenging issues facing the region and “bequeaths a strong legacy” for the future.
“It has stood up to government, rejecting the more extreme proposals for economic and housing growth while brokering consensus on long-term plans for new jobs and homes,” Mr Reynolds said. “It has lobbied for infrastructure investment and secured a significant increase in the funding and delivery of affordable housing.”
Yet Item 15 of tomorrow
So what happens now?
The assembly will make way for a new regional board of the Local Government Association (LGA). Its role will be broadly the same, but the supporters of the change believe it will be a more focussed body.
9. Early moves towards replacing federation? - On Line opinion -
There are several moves in train right now which suggest a major shift towards the re-structure of the Australian political system: the partial take-over of hospital funding and addition health services; …
… argued against the reintroduction of the old separate local hospital boards. Rudd aims at around 180 local hospital networks - of a regional nature - devolving responsibility to those who are actually caring for patients. These networks would be the administrative unit directly funded by the national government. Provided doctors and nurses are to be given adequate local decision-making powers this plan looks like a sensible application of the subsidiarity principle.
… Critics question the creation of regional hospital networks on the grounds that it would add another layer of bureaucracy. This potentially valid criticism then begs the question: why aim for only 60 per cent or 70 per cent of a complete take-over instead of going all the way? Why not remove the states entirely from this function?
Extrapolating from this logically leads to a discussion of replacing all state functions. A two-tier system based on national government and (a much improved) local government would seem to have the edge over all other proposals based on regional governments. The advantage of national and local is that regions can be created as administrative adjunct structures either by the (elected) national government or by clusters of (elected) local governments. A mezzanine layer of regions can be based on the many criteria that are used to justify regional governance: population, resources, density, bio-diversity, geography, history, functional effectiveness and political considerations. That creates a flexible situation, exactly what is needed in practice. The Regional Organisation of Councils in
10. U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles.
In this and section 11, 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
.01 OVRDC Tries Again For Broadband Funding
The Community Common -
... Congressman Zack Space (OH-18) in February of 2009 revealed a plan called "Connecting Appalachia Broadband Plan." The plan is designed to bring various development commissions together to find ways to make the plan happen. "The Connecting Appalachia Broadband Plan is a comprehensive approach to bringing high-speed internet service to attract new businesses, create jobs, and put the necessary infrastructure in place to support sustainable economic development," Space said in a prepared statement. He said the plan would be able to create the conditions necessary to support modern industry and business, providing them with the broadband technology companies need to compete. “Never before has our region seen such cooperation united behind a common goal – connecting
.02 VILLAGE OF
Niagara Gazette - Niagara Falls, NY, USA
Plans to link the Niagara region by way of a free shuttle bus were discussed at Monday’s
.03 County council planning group to hold forum on council
Plain Dealer -
.04 'Post-Murtha': Regional collaboration will be key for businesses, Wessel partner says
The Tribune-Democrat -
Tamping down the economic impact of John Murtha’s passing will take a united effort, the featured speaker at the
.05 Regionalism steering committee seeks public input - Natchez Democrat -
.06 NEPA offers many possibilities for regionalization
Citizens Voice -
The possibility that Luzerne and
.07 LETTER: LORCO good example of regionalism
The Morning Journal -
To the Editor: The Lorain County Rural Wastewater District was formed on February 4, 1997 under the Ohio Revised Code section 6119. … I recently left a management position with the city of
.08 Toward regionalization
Cape Cod Times -
Finally, the regionalization bug on
.09 Senate budget resolution would cut state funding for ORDA
The Adirondack Daily
The state Senate
.10 Letter: A modest proposal
The Daily Astorian -
In an area that has so many wonderful assets, from climate to culture, why is it that our governmental institutions function so poorly? The Clatsop County Commission, the
.11 Valley No. 2 midsize region in
Site Selection Magazine http://siteselection.imirus.com/Mpowered/imirus.jsp?volume=ss10&issue=2&page=1
.12 RTA board keeps vow to consult voters on taxes
Capital Times -
Those who fear public transportation peddled the notion that a Dane County Regional Transit Authority Board would be so determined to get the trains running on time that it would raise taxes without consulting the voters. That spin was never anything more than an attempt to prevent the county from beginning to make the smart transportation decisions that will be needed to avoid gridlock in the 21st century. But it gained traction, especially among conservative County Board members — and their media echo chamber — who thought they could maintain a dysfunctional status quo by fooling enough of the people enough of the time. But then reality set in. The new RTA board held its first meeting and declared that no move would be taken to raise any sort of sales tax for local transit without voters first approving a referendum. ...
11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents
.01 Mike Lee: The Government is no longer listening
... The Auckland Regional Council has supported the Government
.02 Study: Super city could restrict development
A research institute is warning the super city could prevent
.03 Ports development
The government should express a preference for port development in areas that produce the greatest regional social, economic and environmental benefits, a committee of MPs advised today. In its report on the government
The proposal for a National Policy Statement on Ports , http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmtran/217/21702.htm
.04 Less Irish unity, more Irish cooperation, please
The Centre for Cross Border Studies -
I think it would be fair to say that something like 90% of people in the
.05 Time for a new West Indian (
.06 Put your thinking hat on
The Pilot - Lewisporte, NL,
How can communities within the region work together to further economic development?
If you have ideas on how regionalism can be furthered within the Lewisporte and area region the organizers (from the Lewisporte Area Economic Development Committee) of an upcoming strategic planning session encourage you to consider taking part in an event being planned for late April or early May. "The basic idea of the conference is to once again try and instill the spirit of regionalism within the area and secondly, to explore economic development possibilities for this area together in terms of a think tank similar to the one held in 2002," said Economic Development Committee chairperson Reverend Arthur Elliott. … “We want to also instill the idea that this region is a region in itself and we
.07 Renewed regional service agreements
Mayor Chris Goertzen (City of
.08 Regional development: MEPs back fast-track funding to boost economic recovery
Balkans.com Business News
Regional development projects in EU Member States will get faster and easier access to EU structural funding, thanks to new rules backed by the Regional Development Committee on Thursday. As part of the EU
.09 POLITICS: REALITY VERSUS RHETORIC ON REGIONALISM
Island Business -
The gulf between reality and the rhetoric of regionalism within the membership of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) [http://www.forumsec.org.fj/ ] continues to widen. And some of the recent rhetoric on Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER-Plus) may hinder, rather than help progress towards deepened trading and economic linkages amongst the 16 members of PIF. ... The belief in a collective shift by the entire membership of PIF to free up economic exchange within the region is misplaced. Deepening of trade links like many other things in life proceeds in small steps. The move is in the right direction and between a small number of parties that over time balloons in size and depth. That is, the dynamics of regional integration are more akin to snowballing than to a massive-bang with everyone simultaneously breaking out in a hula. A practical route to regionalism A more pragmatic approach to regionalism within the PIF would be for
.10 New finance venture to boost business
The fund, called Finance Yorkshire and supported by the Regional Development Agency (RDA) Yorkshire Forward, will invest in ambitious entrepreneurs and businesses who can demonstrate their ability to successfully grow their companies and support regional economic recovery. Rosie Winterton, who is also Minister for Yorkshire and the
.11 Maghreb Bank plan targets regional development
.12 Five Decades Of Rural Development
It has been 50 years since the Rural and Regional Development Ministry took shape and Malaysians particularly those who live in the rural areas have witnessed transformation in various phases including that of physical and human capital development. The ministry was established in 1959 to assist the rural folks in various aspects. In that five decades, the ministry had passed through numerous success as well as many trials and tribulations to chalk its own impressive record. …
.13 Our development over-planned, under-implemented - The Malaysian Insider -
Someone from Mars studying the structure of the Malaysian government could be forgiven for concluding that we are a planned economy a la
Terms like New Economic Policy and some other key concepts can trace a direct lineage to Josef Stalin’s
… no political will either to re-examine policy priorities or to rejuvenate the planning agencies.
... example of overgrown planning and coordinating agencies has to do with the “corridors”. Corridor, by definition, means an empty space. Despite that, in the conceptual world of economic planning in
.14 Larry Hinzman says cooperation necessary for polar research
Larry Hinzman: The changes that are occurring in the
.15 Why We
In large, industrialized societies, people are surprisingly fair and trusting when it comes to dealing with strangers – shoplifters and pick-pocketers are a minority rather than the norm. But how did we come to play nice with unfamiliar individuals? After all, much of our ancestral history was spent in small, hunter-gather communities, where everyone knew each other. This pro-social behavior results from a change in social norms that allowed us to trust strangers, a new study suggests. That change is likely linked to a rise in markets where goods are exchanged for money, as well as increased participation in major world religions. This finding contradicts a previously suggested theory: the idea that we treat strangers fairly because we mistakenly transferred our feelings of kinship to unrelated individuals as societies grew. … While humans have likely been exchanging things for thousands of years, most of the past exchanges probably took place amongst people who knew each other, Henrich said. People simply didn
.16 NCDD Project Report for the
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
Below is a quick look at the topics that are explored in the report in more depth.
What is citizens’ role in democratic governance?
Types of goals/impacts of dialogue and deliberation
The action & change challenge
The systems challenge
For the “Systems Challenge,” we explored ways we can make public engagement values and practices integral to government, schools, and other systems, so that our methods of involving people, solving problems, and making decisions are used more naturally and efficiently. At the conference, we focused most on institutionalizing public engagement in governance―an area often referred to by scholars as “embeddedness.”
Most of the themes identified as being part of the Action & Change Challenge also overlap with the Systems Challenge in critical ways. Five additional themes emerged in discussions about this challenge area at the conference:
Cultivating and supporting public engagement practitioners
Joint ownership of programs and structures
Building on existing structures and resources
Demonstrating the impact of our processes―together
Taking advantage of new opportunities
.17 Long-Term Thinking in the Next 10,000 Years
Long Finance is an initiative begun in 2007 to establish a World Centre Of Thinking On Long-Term Finance. The initiative began with a question - "When would we know our financial system is working?" - which challenges a system that can
12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents
.01 The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger - The Dollars & Sense Blog
Humans evolved in small, highly-cooperative groups. Today
Inequality arose only some 10,000 years ago when humans invented agriculture, and "privatized" the land. (I prefer Adam Smith
Given this history, perhaps it should not surprise us that modern inequality causes stress and social problems, not just among the very poor, but at all levels of society. That
The Spirit Level (British for a carpenter
Among the twenty-three or so countries,
Among the fifty states,
Big Think Interview With Kate Pickett | Kate Pickett | Big Think
Jan 28, 2010 ... A conversation with the
The Evidence - The Equality Trust
Great inequality is the scourge of modern societies. We provide the evidence on each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage births, and child well-being. For all eleven of these health and social problems, outcomes are very substantially worse in more unequal societies.
.02 More Momentum Behind Federal Smart Growth Programs
Mobilizing the Region
One of the Obama administration’s key transportation initiatives has been connecting land use and transportation planning to foster walkable communities instead of sprawl. Recent momentum for the effort has come from both Congress and the White House. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) has introduced the House version of Senator Dodd (D-CT)’s Livable Communities Act, while Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced a similar bill to create an Office of Livability in USDOT and provide similar competitive grants to help regions develop integrated transportation plans. Both would help break down the silos which federal transportation and housing policy traditionally operate in.
The Livable Communities Act (S.1619) would:
* Establish the office of Sustainable Housing and Communities in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
* Authorize two competitive grant programs ($400M for planning and $3.75B for implementation)
The Enhancing Livability for All Americans Act (H.R.4287) introduced by Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN):
* Establish Office of Livability in DOT
* Authorize $750M/yr for two competitive grant programs (one for planning and one for implementation)
.03 Regional Tourism Workshop Hugh Success!
VALLEY IN PROGRESS
The Horizon workshop held March 5th at the Chewelah Civic center was well attended. Nearly 100 people from various counties attended but about 90% came from Stevens Co. The workshop provided great ideas and tools for recruiting tourism to our region. The Key note speaker was Judy Walden, a specialist in rural tourism development. George Sharp from the WA. Dept. of Commerce also presented many ideas for bringing people to our region listing what kinds of things tourists are looking for. ...
.04 Regional council responds to Creech Review: need for change acknowledged
... The Canterbury Water Management Strategy, which grew from regional council water studies and continued to be funded by a separate regional council rate, had been praised by the Creech review. However the report had not acknowledged the pivotal role of the regional council capability in managing and undertaking the technical investigations as well as the stakeholder and community engagement to develop the strategy. However, the Canterbury Water Management Strategy incorporates a structure which requires local buy-in and involvement in each catchment. This has the potential to substantially reduce the conflict around Resource Management Act projects. It would also act as a way for regional and territorial council issues around land and water management to get a full discussion at local level before heading into the more expensive and less flexible court or consent hearing process. “This non-adversarial, collaborative approach has already occurred in places like the Orari catchment in
13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents
Ecological Regional Development Research Network - Regional Studies Association. For further information about the Call for Papers:
.02 Gazelles and Regional Development: Growth Trajectories, Determinants and Spatial Implications – April 20 - 21, 2010 - Stirling Management Centre -
International Section Event - Regional Studies Association. For further information about the event and to register:
.03 Call for Papers
The Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics (JDAE) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published that will be monthly by Academic Journals (http://www.academicjournals.org/JDAE ). JDAE is dedicated to increasing the depth of the subject across disciplines with the ultimate aim of expanding knowledge of the subject.
JDAE will cover all areas of the subject. The journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence, and will publish:
· Original articles in basic and applied research
· Case studies
· Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays
We invite you to submit your manuscript(s) to JDAE.firstname.lastname@example.org for publication. Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks of submission. Following acceptance, a paper will normally be published in the next issue. Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website; http://www.academicjournals.org/JDAE/Instruction.htm
.01 To rob a country, own a bank – The Real News Network – YouTube
William Black, author of "Best way to rob a bank is to own one" talks about deliberate fraud on
Pt 4 William Black’s Top
Pt 5 to be posted
.02 Liquidity/Solvency – TheModernMystic – YouTube
Nick Blavatsky provides on-going commentary about the financial crisis, networking resources of other prominent bloggers and media reports. This is a recent video of 1546.
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