Regional/Greater Community Development News – April 9, 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
The leader of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce is helping to lead the charge for voter support of a 1-cent regional sales tax to tackle traffic woes in Henry County, Clayton County, and other parts of metropolitan Atlanta.
Henry Chamber of Commerce President, Kay Pippin, maintains transportation problems in the Atlanta region are at “crisis levels,” and measures like the T-SPLOST are vital for ensuring economic competitiveness in years to come.
Pippin and other leaders from the Southern Crescent area are backing the referendum for a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST), that would fund $6.14 billion in road projects over 10 years, in a 10-county area that includes Henry and Clayton counties.
The campaign centers on the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, and the referendum vote set for July 31.
…dozens of organizations have been meeting over the last year to generate support for the referendum. They call themselves the First Friday Coalition.
5140-17-05-Atlanta.Regional, re:competitive, re:economic, re:coalition, re:leaders, re:business,
…key word…inaugural Southwest Tourism Summit… “collaboration”… participants from statewide, regional and local tourism-related organizations learned how to work with each other and use each other’s services to boost their own efforts.
“We get so caught up in who is going where and how long they’re staying in one community, we lose track of the goal to share more about our area in general and make this a bigger piece of the pie,” … …included…Colorado Tourism Office; Four Corners Film Commission; and Southwest Colorado Travel Region.
…representatives from Durango’s business, economic-development and tourism sectors were the first to preach the importance of collaboration and interconnectedness between each of their organizations.
… La Plata Economic Development Alliance has a vested interest in supporting tourism… “When you’re trying to recruit people, tourism is a gateway drug,” he said. People come here on vacation and love it, then want to come back, live and start a business…
5140-44-09-Southwest-Durango, re:statewide, re:community, re:summit, re:collaboration, re:cooperation
Senate Bill 124 is a simple bill.
It would increase the number of Colorado tourism projects that the state Economic Development Commission (EDC) can approve for tax-increment financing this year from two to six — while maintaining a cap of six total projects that can get Regional Tourism Act (RTA) status over the next three years.
SB 124, sponsored by Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, ended up receiving preliminary approval on a largely party-line vote, …
Signed into law in 2009, the RTA allows the state to designate significant tourist-generating projects to be allowed to keep all new state sales tax generated within their property area for the next 30 years and put it toward construction and infrastructure.
The nine-member EDC is responsible for choosing a maximum of six projects — no more than two per year over the next three years — to get such tax breaks, and it’s expected to choose its first one or two for the award on May 18.
Wording in the law is somewhat ambiguous ...
5140-44-00-Colorado, re:tourism, re:tax.increment.financing, re:legislators, re:legislation.state
On the website for Pure Michigan, the top state tourism campaign in the country, the Blue Water Area ranks fourth in site traffic — a statistic local officials are touting as a sign of good things to come.
And while Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Mackinac Island and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn shelled out $500,000 each this year to be in Pure Michigan’s national TV ads, local officials aren’t looking to jump on that high-priced bandwagon just yet.
Discover the Blue, the collaboration of Thumb cities that links directly with Pure Michigan to market the area, signed up for a regional ad campaign to draw summer visitors to towns and beaches along Lake Huron and the St. Clair River.
The group payed $165,000 this year for regional radio ads featuring Tim Allen and pay-per-click targeted Google search ads. The Blue Water Area will also be listed as a “feature destination” on the homepage of for the summer season.
5140-27-07-East.Central-Saginaw.Valley, re:collaboration, re:marketing, re:tourism
Any venture worth pursuing usually involves some work. Most entrepreneurial ventures also involve plenty of careful thinking and yes, a bit of luck and a dab of risk. The resulting mix can produce wonderful rewards.
Greater Lansing is on the verge of stepping off a major venture that, when it reaches the finish line, should produce lasting rewards — the inaugural Lansing Marathon scheduled for April 22.
Dr. Owen Anderson’s original dream called for up to 10,000 runners and $1 million raised for local charities. About a month away, he acknowledged that was too ambitious for his first marathon.
There will be celebrations large and small. Everyone who runs the race will celebrate his or her accomplishment; many from the region will mark their first marathon run. Anderson, his sponsors and the community leaders who have helped him will celebrate bringing something new and special to the region. Charities will benefit.
There are other, less obvious benefits. ...
5140-27-06-Tri-County-Lansing, re:greater, re:editorial.opinion, re:event.festival, re:sports
… Tampa Bay Partnership plays a key role in local economic development. The business-created group promotes regional cooperation and conducts valuable research.
… some business leaders believe the partnership has become more a think tank than economic engine… not getting…results… agency, established in 1994, promotes economic development across eight counties-Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus. …
…critics' complaints: The partnership generates good ideas that often aren't fully executed. It has not been able to bolster the region's political clout; …It focuses more on research than marketing.
Partnership defenders stress its research data are as important as marketing campaigns in luring companies. The region needs to know which enterprises are likely to increase jobs and which ones will wither. …organization can't implement its ideas or bolster the region's clout without the help and cooperation of the business community and local governments.
5140-18-08-Tampa.Bay, re:local.government, re:cooperation, re:implementation.not, re:think.tank, re:marketing, re:editorial.opinion, re:business, re:partnership
Cooperate or compete?
That question…asked many times…a community read of Richard Longworth's book, Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism.…
… on cooperation in the Chicago region: "This word doesn't seem to have reached the state governments, which remain the biggest stumbling block to regional cooperation. All the towns and cities in the Chicago economic region have more to do with each other than any of them have with Madison, Springfield or Indianapolis. Yet jealousies and rivalries between state governments and governors poison inter-state relations and create barriers to cooperation."
Longworth is right, and he could have been talking about anywhere in the Midwest. It's true; more could be accomplished if we all pulled in the same direction.
But how does that affect Muncie and East Central Indiana?
The short answer is this: Cooperation at a regional level could lift all of us up. But skepticism remains when asked to extend that across state lines.
5140-29-06-Blackford.Delaware.Grant.Jay.Madison.Cos.Muncie, 5140-00.CMSA.Chicago.IL-IN-WI, re:states, re:cooperation.not, re:state.lines, re:cooperation, re:editorial.opinion
We work here. We play here. And by knowing all of the great things happening here, we can make an impact on our great region. By knowing about our economy, our growing industries, growth opportunities and how to engage, we can pass the good news to friends, family, colleagues and the media so that the entire world begins to know the Pluses of Northeast Ohio, like we do.
We need to know about:
• The Economy
• Growing Industries
• How to do Business
• The Economic Development System
5140-28-0X-Northeast-Cleveland-NEO, re:promotion, re:news, re:website, re:identity, re:regional.communities
…U.S. Environmental Protection Agency … Gulf of Mexico Program …designed to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the Region.
… Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf… ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The program is financially supported by the…Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States.
Founded on the threefold principles of partnership, science-based information, and citizen involvement, the Gulf Program joined the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay Programs as flagships of the nation’s efforts to apply an adaptive management approach to large coastal freshwater and marine ecosystems.
5140-00.Gulf.of.Mexico, re:community, re:non-regulatory, re:consortium, re:economic, re:ecosystems, re:multi-state, re:EPA
Bihar has provided the guiding principle not only in creating a national identity, but even an international identity for India. For those who want the fruits of development, the national identity should be greater than the sub-national identity.
Bihar has a strong regional identity, which is good for the nation as well. Each region should have a different identity. India has prospered despite a pluralistic society, having different languages.
Few cities have dominated the social, political, national and economic identities of India so far. But all regions should be on a par. Strong sub-regionalism gives strong national identity as well as a sense of pride and sovereignty to the nation. The erstwhile Nalanda University prospered only because of the amalgamation of knowledge from all regions.
One can take a person out of the region but not vice versa.
8272-0X-Bihar, re:subnational, re:regional, re:national, re:identity
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