Regional Cooperation

19 06 2008

Regionalism. Land use planning. Tax sharing. Cooperation. Collaboration.

We have heard these terms used over and over again by political leaders, inter-governmental organizations, state elected officials, non-profit think tanks, and, above all, the media.  Some of the terms are used interspersed with grandiose ideas, while other times they are applied directly to an initiative, such as sharing of water, fire or police protection, and economic development initiatives.

Then there are bold ideas and initiatives which truly address the core ideas, goals and objectives of “regionalism”.  Not simply an academic exercise or theoretical study, but an aggressive and revolutionary approach to joining forces as a region and establishing a viable, sustainable, cooperative arrangement where all communities benefit from the success of the region.  A prime example of such a revolutionary approach is the Regional Economic Revenue Study, or RERS.  This initiative is the result of work by key leaders of the Northeast Ohio Mayors & City Managers Association, chaired by Hudson Mayor William A. (Bill) Currin.

Over the past 18 months, The Impact Group has worked side-by-side with leaders across Northeast Ohio in developing the concept and approach to a region-wide planning and revenue-sharing program.  In establishing this effort, the goal is to bring the 16 county Northeast Ohio region together in order to compete in a truly global economy for new jobs and growth in our business community.  For too long, cities, villages, counties and other jurisdictions have competed against one another for economic development in a “winner-take-all” environment.  We need a new environment, whereby the region cooperates and shares in our growth, an environment critically important to the successful growth of our region overall.

I will continue to update this blog with information and developments of the RERS and the leaders across our region involved in the process.  I would also recommend reviewing the RERS web site to learn more: www.revenuestudy.com

I am excited to be part of this initiative.  In fact, the very process we are undertaking through a collaborative of The Impact Group, the Mayors Association, Lorain County Community College, Cleveland State, Team NEO, The Fund for Our Economic Future and others is a direct example of regionalism; We are all joined for a united purpose to achieve success together! Check back for updates.  Let me know your thoughts as well.

Regionalism:  What a concept!!

-Kerry

ksmith@igpr.com