If you missed Thursday night’s “Regional Prosperity for Northeast Ohio, Growing Together” Forum, you missed an evening of energized conversation about a challenge facing all Northeast Ohio communities across 12 counties, from Hudson to East Cleveland. For the past two years, the Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI), an effort to promote region-wide land use planning accompanied with new growth tax base sharing, has been working to advance the idea that the communities of Northeast Ohio need to come together on these issues. The forum focused on how NEO citizens view collaboration and whether we are ready to take the next steps necessary to grow together.
The evening kicked off with an introduction and warm welcome from Levin College Dean Ned Hill, which was followed by clips from the documentary film, The New Metropolis and featured a special introduction from filmmaker Andrea Torrice. The film, which explores the challenges and opportunities facing America’s older cities and suburbs, also aired this weekend on WVIZ TV Cleveland.
Dan Moulthrop from The Civic Commons then moderated a panel on regional collaboration in Northeast Ohio. The question put to each of the panelists was: What does collaboration look like from your perspective? The panel represented state policy makers and regional, county and local officials. Panelists included Mayor Michael Lyons, Richfield, Ohio and Regional Prosperity Initiative; Lavea Brachman, Executive Director, Greater Ohio Policy Center and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program; Mayor Gary Norton, East Cleveland; Steve Hambley, Medina County Commissioner; and Jason Segedy, Director, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.
While each panelist had a different point of view, all were in agreement that greater regional collaboration in the areas of tax sharing, infrastructure investment and land use planning would make Northeast Ohio more competitive economically and in attracting residents.
Conversation continued during the audience round table discussion where area residents, elected officials and professionals discussed their views of the benefits and drawbacks of regional collaboration. These viewpoints were then shared with William Batchelder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, who answered questions, provided his own input and concluded by saying, “the concept of collaboration is very important.”
All forums are archived on our website and can be accessed by clicking here.
Join us on Thursday, February 17 at 4:00pm for “Reimagining Cleveland and Photo-Documentation Exhibition Opening.”