Regional/Greater Community Development News – September 10, 2012

    Multi-jurisdictional intentional regional communities are, in all cases, “Greater Communities” where “community motive” is at work at a more than a local scale. This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs.
Top 10 Stories
Cuyahoga County on Monday awarded $180,000 to Bedford, Bedford Heights and Maple Heights to create a consolidated emergency dispatch center.
The merger -- aided with a $720,000 federal grant and a $55,000 state Local Innovation grant -- was Executive Ed FitzGerald's first step in a push to eliminate dozens of police and fire dispatch centers across the county. The county is also paying $270,000 for Cleveland State University to plan for other cities to consolidate.
Currently, 47 police dispatch centers and dozens of additional fire dispatch units are spread across 57 municipalities.
"The status quo was not good enough," FitzGerald said at a news conference with suburban leaders. "It's a waste of money."
Maintaining dozens of disparate dispatch operations in Cuyahoga County is costly, especially for the smallest suburbs, according to a study commissioned by the county.
Tiny Walton Hills spent $510 per call, according to the study. The comparable cost to Cleveland: $12 per call.
Bedford spends $67 per call, while Bedford Heights and Maple Heights spend $92 apiece.
It doesn't make headlines or lead the evening news. … But right now, in communities all over the state, people are working together to resolve one of California's biggest challenges: our water future.
The record shows that Californians have been making steady progress over the past decades. Water managers are working to stretch every drop, diversify their water supply sources, protect water quality and plan for uncertainties in a changing climate. But there is more to be done, particularly when it comes to improving our statewide system of pipelines, canals and reservoirs that allows us to capture water in wet periods for use in the inevitable dry times.
That system, built by previous generations of leaders, has allowed us to prosper but it's increasingly insecure under today's environmental rules. It needs to be modernized to improve water supply delivery and reduce environmental impacts.
This is where a statewide perspective is critical. Resolving long-term water supply and ecosystem problems in the Delta is not a matter of one region vs. another. It's about recognizing that the status quo is not working for the state as a whole and finding solutions that work for all Californians.
… we must understand that we are one state. We can't perpetuate the notion that our natural resources "belong" to a particular region, or that one region's economy or quality of life is more deserving of water than another's. We cannot be satisfied with actions that shift the problem from one region to another or that preserve the status quo because it benefits one region in particular. Such measures cannot qualify as solutions over the long term.
True solutions to our biggest problems come when we act as one state. We have the leaders, the knowledge and the opportunity to come together as a state on water again. It's time to put those ingredients together and move on solutions that improve water supply security for the entire state.
Regional cooperation is the key to continued growth in the Denver metro area and Colorado, John Beeble, president and chief executive of Saunders Construction told the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerceon Wednesday.
Beeble, the new board chair of the organization, said this "regionalism" is "not easy, intuitive, or always in the short-term interests of an individual entity."
But regional cooperation matters…because "it protects us from the vagaries of the political winds. It matters because it is how we ensure the sustainability of this thriving region for generations to come.
"And it matters because there is no question that we cannot continue to see business success that we have seen in rough economic conditions without regional cooperation and support,"…
Both Beeble and outgoing…chair…warned that Colorado and the country face myriad challenges in the next 12 months involving everything from potential spending cuts to dealing with the evolving health care system.
Beeble said that the way to deal with those challenges is in a pragmatic manner, free of partisanship.
Wake up California. You are perilously close to ratifying Proposition 31, a sweepingly redistributionist and profoundly undemocratic transformation of your way of life, and you don’t even know what’s at stake. Suburbanites of California, you are the special targets of Prop. 31. Act now, or be turned into second-class citizens in your own state.
Wake up America. Look toward the regionalist revolution on California’s horizon. In an era of looming municipal bankruptcies, this could be your fate: robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities. The regionalist transformation now being quietly pressed on California is exactly the sort of change President Obama has in mind for America should he win a second term. In California and America both, the 2012 election could open the door for a regionalist movement in hot pursuit of a redistributionist remaking of American life.
California’s Proposition 31 is the project of a collection of “good government” groups, in particular, California Forward.…
PROPOSITION 31 This initiative measure is submitted to the people of California in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of Article II of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure amends and adds sections to the California Constitution and adds sections to the Education Code and the Government Code; therefore, existing provisions proposed to be deleted are printed in strikeout type and new provisions proposed to be added are printed in underlined type to indicate that they are new.
The Government Performance and Accountability Act
SECTION 1. Findings and Declarations The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that government must be:
  1. Trustworthy. California government has lost the confidence of its citizens and is not meeting the needs of Californians. Taxpayers are entitled to a higher return on their investment and the public deserves better results from government services.
  2. Accountable for Results. To restore trust, government at all levels must be accountable for results.
SEC. 7. Article XI A is added to the California Constitution, to read:
  SECTION 1. (a) Californians expect and require that local government entities publicly explain the purpose of expenditures and whether progress is being made toward their goals. Therefore, in addition to the requirements of any other provision of this Constitution, the adopted budget of each local government entity shall contain all of the following as they apply to the entity's powers and duties:
    (b) The State shall consider and determine how it can support, through financial and regulatory incentives, efforts by local government entities and representatives of the public to work together to address challenges and to resolve problems that local government entities have voluntarily and collaboratively determined are best addressed at the geographic scale of a region in order to advance a prosperous economy, quality environment, and community equity. The State shall promote the vitality and global competitiveness of regional economies and foster greater collaboration among local governments within regions by providing priority consideration for state-administered funds for infrastructure and human services, as applicable, to those participating local government entities that have voluntarily developed a regional collaborative plan and are making progress toward the purposes and goals of their plan, which shall incorporate the goals and purposes set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 1.
  Sec. 7. Nothing in this article is intended to abrogate or supersede any existing authority enjoyed by local government entities, nor to discourage or prohibit local government entities from developing and participating in regional programs and plans designed to improve the delivery and efficiency of government services.
Regional development approaches are increasingly being employed around the country to build more vibrant communities, Riley said. He said these collaborations also are important because the federal government isn't looking to do everything for people, but be a partner in helping them identify ways to make communities better and assist in that process.
"These regional issues, transportation, housing patterns, all those things really do impact the quality of life in a community," said Riley, who is one of the department's 10 regional administrators and coordinates activities in a six-state region that includes Indiana and Illinois. "And if we are able to get a regional conversation about how to deploy those resources and make those decisions, we give those communities an opportunity to move forward."
Riley said regional administrators for eight federal agencies in January met with Gary city officials and also representatives from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, and the Metropolitan Planning Council. Conversations have continued since that time on coordinating a regional investment strategy as part of the Gary and Region Investment Project.
Last Thursday's North Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting played to a full house, as North Central Florida's rural counties and cities came to connect with their fellow members, the planning Council, and listen to the Department of Economic Opportunity's Dr. Barbara Foster's presentation called, "Planning For Economic Opportunity."
The North Central Region contains nearly 7000 square miles. Its members include municipalities from Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor and Union Counties, as well as those counties.
While the area has abundant natural resources, other than Alachua County, home of the University of Florida, the region has been fiscally constrained and challenged for decades with high levels of poverty and difficult learning environments.
Scott Koons, the Council's Executive Director said the NCFRPC's purpose is to "address issues, concerns and problems of a multi county nature."
Abstract Through a case study analysis of a regional leadership development program, this article describes the impact on individual and group leadership skills and how the skills are employed to benefit individual communities and the region as a whole. Data were obtained through surveys. Through cooperation and collaboration between and among leadership program graduates, leadership alumni, and other regional leaders, graduates grew personally and professionally, and built new networks that help them advance their communities and the region. The most significant implication for Extension from this study is the need to expand partnerships in order to better utilize resources. Keywords: community leadership, regional leadership, regional collaboration, networking, community involvement Beverly Maltsberger Extension Professional Community Development Specialist St. Joseph, Missouri Wilson Majee Community Development Specialist Princeton, Missouri Majeew@missou
AN "Outback Commission" should be created to address long-standing problems in governance in remote and regional Australia, …
The remote FOCUS review spoke to people across remote and regional Australia, from the Pilbara to Central Queensland and north Queensland.
Report co-author Dr Bruce Walker said successive government approaches to remote and regional Australia had demonstrably failed, including the current Regional Development Australia approach.
The report showed the main issues facing many remote regions were the same, with many communities citing a lack of control and a feeling of being ignored by policy-makers in Canberra and state capitals.
But Dr Walker said real decision-making power needed to be given back to the communities affected, citing the government's response to the fly-in, fly-out mining industry and Aboriginal affairs.
"If you want to get change, you've got to convince people on the coast to understand the remote and regional areas," he said.
"From our talks, we realise the FIFO industry is no longer just mining - you've doctors and nurses and teachers flying in and out of remote communities.
With an estimated 50,000 attendees, the recent Rio+20 conference on sustainable development was the largest UN event ever held. Despite widely reported dissatisfaction with the summit’s outcome, the gathering was much more …
With more than 500 on-site side events and hundreds of nearby meetings, forums and workshops, there was ample opportunity for participants to share their responses as well as discuss new approaches to the challenges of global development.
One such response, led by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), is a call for the concerted effort of multiple stakeholders to further develop collaborative learning systems that enable transformation towards green, resilient and just societies.
Regional Centres of Expertise(RCEs) are regional (in the majority of cases sub-national) networks of multiple stakeholders that focus their learning projects on specific sustainability-related challenges framed around their reality and geographical location.
On the road, so next issue September 24, 2012 –
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