Regional Cooperation Key to Winning Stimulus Transportation Dollars
I caught an interesting story about the importance of regional cooperation that ran in last week's Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise. The article highlights quotes from Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation and keynote speaker at the annual Interstate 10 Corridor Conference.
Szabat's comments stressed the importance of rregional cooperation to winning federal funds:
"You need to speak with one voice," Szabat said. "Don't have three similar applications from cities in the same region. You'd be cannibalizing each other."
The Press-Enterprise summarized Szabat's remarks:
"The federal government has $48 billion in economic stimulus money for local transportation improvements, but the regions that get the biggest shares will be where neighbors play nice with each other"
Cooperation between cities and counties with different elected officials and tax structures doesn't typically happen naturally. Despite their interconnectedness, it takes strong civic leadership to pull together different political jurisdictions to address common challenges such as transportation or workforce. The ACCE-Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship is designed to help chamber leaders become more effective regional leaders. Applications for the 3rd round of the Ford RSD Fellowship are due this Friday - June 12. If you are interested in developing your capacity for regional leadership, call the ACCE office and ask for more information.