The new group will focus on economically strengthening the midcoast as a region — not the traditional way, town by town.
“It’s important to work regionally because we are in a very similar area. For residents and visitors to stay in the walls of a municipality [is not reasonable]. We support each other,” said Brian Hodges, Camden’s economic development director.
… Belfast’s Thomas Kittredge, … “I don’t think there will be many instances where we have to fight over the same things. We’re different enough. Maybe that’s naive — maybe we will have conflicts,” Kittredge told the group.
Gov. Bill Haslam and Commissioner Bill Hagerty of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development released plans for each of the nine regions the administration has broken the state into. The governor has made a range of announcements in his overhaul of ECD, and the Nashville Business Journal previously profiled Hagerty as he works to encourage more business expansions and entrepreneurship along with large-scale corporate recruitment.
Nashville falls within the new plan's northern Middle Tennessee region. The strategy will include the basics of the Jobs4TN plan, along with training sessions for local economic development organizations, a focus on expansion and recruitment in the entertainment industry, promotion of innovation in inner-city and rural areas through the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and work to recruit tech-savvy workers.
Porter County Commissioner John Evans, R-North, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas, Portage Mayor-elect Jim Snyder, and Jim Jorgenson of the Porter County Economic Development Alliance announced the new initiative this morning.
The point of the Economic Development Cabinet is to unify and coordinate the mass of studies and plans conducted over the years, the county’s municipal redevelopment commissions and related organizations, and the various pots of CEDIT funding to create a “Strategic Plan for Jobs,” according to a joint statement.
Evans, noting that these groups already work together well, said that the cabinet will “engage experts in the field to assist in bringing the information together, develop strategies and goals, and identify funding resources and an organizational structure to execute the plan.”
"When you start talking about what something can be, some people are cynical and they roll their eyes," City Councilor Blake Ewing said recently at a gathering of local and area officials.
"But the more you talk about it, others go, 'You know, he's right. I believe in something I didn't yesterday,' and slowly you start turning the tide of a city and people start embracing these new ideas for what can be,"
The longtime debate over consolidation of local governments within a defined region continues to be contentious, with strident arguments on each side.
The journey may be rough and long, but the payoff is huge, said former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut.
His regionalism mantra: "You can't be a suburb of nothing." Once the public gets that, he said, the hard work toward the rewards begins
The regional library system was formed in 1963 as a way of allowing Gaston and Lincoln to share resources and personnel. It has also led to other benefits, such as providing access to grant funds each year that otherwise wouldn’t be available to the two counties independently, Moose said.
That's why when the IronPigs came to Allentown in 2008 they were named the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
… While there have been setbacks, many local businesses and political leaders have embraced the regionalism mantra: that the communities that make up Lehigh and Northampton counties are stronger as a whole than their constituent parts.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Red Cross, The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and the Lehigh Valley International Airport all bear the marks of decades of work aimed at creating a regional identity.
Since 1971, those efforts have been bolstered by having a single congressman who represented both counties' interests in Washington D.C. …
The state Senate passed a congressional redistricting map last week that splits the Lehigh Valley, …
USC has partnered with La Trobe, Edith Cowan and Griffith Universities, the University of Tasmania and the Planning Institute of Australia to win a $176,000 Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant to undertake the two-year project.
USC's associate professor of regional and urban planning Johanna Rosier and senior lecturer in planning Dr Claudia Baldwin are co-leaders of the project, while another USC academic Christine Slade has been appointed project officer.
Dr Rosier said the study would identify whether the learning techniques used in tertiary planning degrees were meeting the needs of the ever-changing profession.
Again and again, speakers at the homelessness forum emphasized the need for regional collaboration to combat homelessness.
And again and again, participants heard about drastic changes and cuts in government funding for homelessness services.
Yet, the need, like the faltering economy, continues to deepen.
The stark reality presents a complex myriad of challenges, said Jeffrey Walker, director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, host of the forum.
“Things are and stand to get even tougher,” he said in terms of funding sources for shelters.
There is no single model for regional collaboration, no universal approach that works in all situations. But the principles and tools on this web site can help guide your work across boundaries. The best efforts are homegrown, tailoring the principles and tools to suit the issue at hand and the unique needs and interests of each region.
The new Transit-Oriented Development Fund (TOD Fund) will offer grants to cities to support development along rail and bus routes. TOD projects will be high density, mixed use, adjacent to transit stations, and designed to be pedestrian friendly.
“Encouraging economic development and job growth along transit corridors is a Council priority,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh. “Expanding the number of people who live and work on major transitways ensures we make better use of our resources, expanding opportunities for all.
“Across the country, employers are seeking to locate in areas where their employees … easy access to the workplace …“These grants will help cities attract major employers who will bring jobs that metro residents are eager to fill.”
An effort to do that is underway, and it deserves widespread support from the public and private sectors. Housing is a critical issue for the larger community. Without adequate housing resources, companies won't be able to find the workers they need to grow jobs. And with a still sputtering economy, it remains difficult for families to find housing they can afford even on a steady but modest income.
… One coordinated program also could be better at obtaining needed federal and state funds. This also comes at a good time as the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission works on a regional housing plan.
Unfortunately, any optimism about the new project is effectively mitigated by the details of an oh-so Detroit plan. The BRT will be run by a regional transit authority. Unfortunately, that authority will not be a DARTA-like jurisdiction to coordinate an inter-modal, metropolitan transit system.
This BRT authority will operate independent of the SMART bus system, Detroit’s DDOT lack-of-bus-service, the People Mover authority, and presumably the planned Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail.
Further balkanization of the region’s mass transit means more of the same for rider and taxpayer alike: Duplicative administrative overhead costs, separate labor agreements, separate fare structures, uncoordinated schedules, and overlapping services.
“That’s the ten-thousand-dollar question — or perhaps the million-dollar question,” Randy Talifarro said in an interview Monday. “And can you still get efficiencies for both communities? Can you enhance services in both communities?”
For Talifarro, similarities between the two cities — each with its own identity — would make for a more seamless management in terms of what level of service is expected and can be provided and the day-to-day operations of each department’s organization. As part of an agreement approved by the East Lansing City Council and soon by Mayor Virg Bernero, Talifarro will be in Lansing “on an as-needed basis,” the agreement says, which Talifarro expects will be 40 percent to 60 percent of his time.
Given the discouraging state of affairs at the federal and state levels of government, the creation of by the state legislatures of creative interjurisdictional mechanisms, or revised federal mandates, beyond what is already in place (MPOs and COGs, for example) is a pipe dream.
What then can stimulate real progress in affirming the reality, and recognizing the necessity, of regional cooperation? It’s the a focus on creating clusters of economic development opportunity. Clusters can grow organically, and do not need official action by government to happen. Harvard’s Michael Porter has famously described clusters as “geographically proximate groups of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and complementarities.”
Saratoga along with Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties have an inter-municipal agreement to support the commission, which provides long-term municipal planning services and analysis.
Saratoga County legislators took the roughly $50,000 due the commission out of its 2012 budget, which is being voted on Wednesday. Rocco Ferraro, the executive director of the CDRPC, said Monday he is hopeful the funding may be restored as part of that final budget vote.
The report, called “State of Equity in Metro Boston,’’ studied 101 communities inside Interstate 495 and found that income inequality in the region was higher than in 85 percent of metro areas across the country.
"The United States will continue to engage multilaterally to advance regional collaboration and to ensure responsible stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea," the State Department said. …
The deteriorating human smuggling cases require efforts coming from Australia and its regional neighbours to finally put an end to such unfortunate occurrences that already killed many would-be immigrants.
This according to Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare following the latest incident of a shipwreck … killed more than 200 … smugglers based in Indonesia filled up the ill-fated boat with 250 people, well beyond its reported 100-person capacity, mostly coming from Afghanistan and Iran.
What transpired, Clare said, bared the daunting reality that "people-smugglers act with a callous disregard for human life."
…most effective way of dealing with the problem, Clare stressed, is for countries in the region to recognise that "this is a regional problem and it requires a regional solution.”