Regional/Greater Community Development News – April 2, 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. More articles are at
Top 10 Stories

… mayors of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach acknowledged the need to work together to build a plan that would best serve the entire region. They spoke of efforts to lobby the General Assembly for dedicated revenue for transportation funding, to persuade mayors of cities from Hampton Roads through Northern Virginia to band together as a bloc…comments…made clear… help their individual cities.
It's a woefully familiar, shortsighted attitude in Hampton Roads…elected officials' inability to see beyond their municipal borders.
It's also the attitude that time and again prevents us from making the most of this region's inherent advantages.

That lack of unity means …we miss opportunities …
How do cities as disparate as those in Hampton Roads set aside their parochial needs, look past their borders, find ways to make decisions to improve the entire region, and set a plan into action?
…Other places have figured it out, not least in Northern Virginia. …
5140-13-23-Hampton.Roads-Norfolk, re:plan, re:action, re:opportunities, re:borders, re:failure, re:cooperation.not, re:mayors
On the surface, the greater Rochester area outperforms the state in education, the economy, housing and issues affecting children and youth.
But on many points in a Community Report Card released Tuesday, there is a deep divide between Rochester and Monroe County compared with the rest of the seven-county region and the state.
Among the most alarming disparities are in areas of health and financial self-sufficiency. And all too often that divide reflects hardships that disproportionately affect minorities.
Conversely, some of the area’s strongest showings — and strongest for Monroe County — are in technology (specifically high-tech jobs) and housing affordability.
The first-ever report card is the product of a partnership between the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Rochester called ACT Rochester. It uses 12 “community indicators” to measure strengths and weaknesses both within the region and against the state.
“The needs of the community are many
5140-07-0x-Rochester, re:disparity, re:partnership,, re:indicators
Montgomery County officials pitched their case Monday evening to create a regional government.
Commissioner Dan Foley was at the NAACP meeting to get feedback about the idea of a more unified government between Dayton and it's suburbs.
He says it's a concept that could transform the entire Miami Valley.
"The structure of local government to me in my opinion can be, needs to be more innovative, needs to be much more of a unified system, so that we can attract companies and keep companies here and we can have a more vibrant community in the long run," said Commissioner Dan Foley.
Opponents to regional governments argue consolidation eliminates jobs and school districts.
5140-28-0X-Miami.Valley-Dayton, re:local.government, re:consolidation, re:opposition, re:suburbs, re:government, re:unified.system, re:regionalism.benefit
To its supporters, the Metropolitan Council is a triumph of regional planning and a model for other urban areas.
To its critics, the agency is a bureaucracy insulated from elected officials and insensitive to suburban concerns.

Scott County Commissioner Jon Ulrich recalled recently how local officials responsible for advising the agency were shut out of work on a major transportation plan.
"We were told if you want to see the full plan ... it will be online later in the week," Ulrich said.
The critics want to turn the Met Council responsibilities for planning transit over to a board made up mostly of elected local officials, with many of them appointed by counties.
Current council members are appointed by the governor and don't hold elective office elsewhere. They sometimes profess ignorance of actions taken by the agency's staff. Recently, the council was forced to backpedal after suburbanites complained about designs for new buses. …
5140-32-11-Metropolitan.Council-Minneapolis-St.Paul, re:trans.planning, re:trans.transit, re:officials.elected.appointed, re:metro

Gahanna development director Anthony Jones asked council to authorize the mayor to enter into a regional economic-development agreement (REDA) that encourages the use of financial incentives to attract new jobs and investment and prohibits the use of financial incentives to lure jobs from another central Ohio community.
Since January 2011, Jones said, 10 central Ohio local governments have been working to establish a partnership with two overarching goals: to increase efficiencies and save money through shared services and to cease “job poaching” efforts. The communities have been meeting regularly to formalize the partnership.
Participating municipalities have included Bexley, Columbus, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Obetz, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington and Worthington, according to Dan Williamson, spokesman for Coleman's office, and not all of them are officially on board yet. Canal Winchester and Whitehall were invited, as well.
5140-28-0X-Mid-Ohio-Columbus, re:agreement,, re:development
The Atlanta Regional Commission on Wednesday took a formal step toward determining if it can create a transit governance system to serve the region until the Legislature creates one of its liking.
The ARC board voted unanimously Wednesday to seek proposals from law firms to determine the boundaries of the ARC’s authority to oversee regional transit. Legislation on the issue that was proposed by Gov. Nathan Deal’s Transit Governance Task Force failed in the 2012 session.
The ARC’s vote affirms a request for action from its Regional Transit Committee, which the ARC describes as a policy committee focused on transit planning, funding and governance.
Specifically, the RTC sought a “request for proposal regarding legal review of regional transit collaboration options.”
RTC members have been working since 2010 to craft a workable structure that would knit together the region’s transit systems. They have issued a raft of recommendations, but only some of them were included in legislation
5140-17-05-Atlanta.Regional, re:state, re:governance, re:trans.transit
Some heart of Illinois residents received some startling news on the cohesiveness of the area economy Thursday.
The Tri-county Regional Planning Commission teamed up with "VITAL Economy Alliance" to help determine how to establish a stronger regional collaboration. The goal of the project is to have all of the communities in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties working together toward a stronger overall economy.
The preliminary report found the Tri-county area is currently below average in nearly every category, but there is potential for improvement.
"The three weeks have taught us that there is a huge common interest, and a common recognition of what the problems are, and what the opportunity is," ...VITAL Economy Alliance .... "That is something you don't often see, across the public and private sector."
A final report is due April 13. After that, "VITAL" will give formal suggestions to the Tri-county Regional Planning Commission on how to achieve better regional collaboration
5140-30-0x-Central-Peoria, re:economy, re:alliance, re:cohesiveness, re:collaboration, re:commission, re:planning
Whenever things get a bit dull, the urban planning types decide it is time to reexamine “regionalism” — …
Every time… it is treated as a new idea, to avoid the discouragement of realizing that the subject has been front and center in academic and policy circles for more than 40 years — with little result to show for it.
Of course, the most painless, brainless, accommodating way to bring modest regional cooperation to the unwashed masses is county government — a middleman between the state government colossus and the local selectmen and councilmen and mayors and town managers.
Connecticut purged itself of county bureaucracy, with various complaints … Connecticut is proud of its local fiefdoms and their “home rule” …
What complicates the Connecticut situation is its lack of “unincorporated” areas … Every square inch of Connecticut is somewhere, with the power and authority to go about their inefficient business.

Amid the bleak landscape is the pending launch of a regional dog pound
5140-06-04-Capital-Hartford, re:planning, re:urban, re:editorial.opinion, re:municipalities, re:county.not, re:policy, re:regionalism
Saturday marked the formal closure of England's Regional Development Agencies following George Osborne's decision to abolish them back in June 2010. The jury remains out on their replacements, the Local Enterprising Partnerships, many of which have board members and strong private sector involvement bringing forward good, positive ideas for growth but are finding these frustrated due a lack of resources and micromanagement from Whitehall. It is clear that a number of big questions for growth across the English regions remain unanswered as we move into a post-RDA world.
Firstly, how do we link skills and growth policy and make them responsive to local needs and requirements? In doing this, how can we involve all the key local and sub regional players – LEPs, Local Authorities, transport bodies, Higher Education and Further Education and big employers and their supply chains in this? In particular, now the RDAs have gone, how do we push forward the large transport and road projects ...
1116-00-United.Kingdom, re:policy, re:RDA,
The Greater Dublin Area accounted for over 40pc of the total population growth in Ireland since 2006, last year's census shows.
According to Dublin Chamber of Commerce, this increase reinforces the importance of an improved and integrated infrastructure for the region in order to contain demand.
Today's publication "This is Ireland - Highlights from Census 2011 Part 1" showed that the overall population of the country increased by 348,404 (8.2pc) since 2006, with the Greater Dublin Area counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and Meath accounting for 141,620 (40pc) of the overall increase.
Dublin Chamber's Director of Policy, Aebhric Mc Gibney said, "These findings reiterate the importance of what has always been Dublin Chamber Policy - better infrastructure. The population of the region is continuing to grow. This means there is extra demand on infrastructure and particularly on water which is in short supply. Therefore, this must be addressed."
1108-0x-Greater.Dublin, re:census, re:growth, re:population, re:infrastructure
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