Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here and There

A few things that are coming up today:

  • The Oconee County Board of Commissioners will once again discuss regional economic development tonight at 6 p.m. at the Oconee County courthouse in advance of their regular meeting. Most business leaders, chambers of commerce, business writers, and state economic development officials are in favor of the regional approach, and wonder why we haven't done it already. But there are several Oconee County commissioners and some long time residents with fears of Athens who can't get comfortable with the concept, and it could cost us jobs in the future. (Full disclosure: I was a part of the group that visited regions around the state to see how they structure their economic development plans and assisted with the drafting of the regional economic development plan, so you know where my loyalties lie). Coverage found here, here, here, here and here. Wendell Dawson counsels caution here. Many in Oconee want "more time" to study the proposal, which has been discussed for 18 months and been on the table for more than nine months now. This desire for more talking is a a good segue to our next point....
  • .... which is a great blog post from Blake on the parking deck in Athens. It is indeed a tradition, not just in Athens, to have citizens weigh in at the last minute on a community changing project after ignoring it for years. People, please weigh in early on things.
  • Election day in High Shoals. Check out Small Town Politics for the scoop.
  • Holly Ward is taking on Keith Heard for the district 114 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. I have met with Holly and really like her. She has some strong ideas and sending someone to the Gold Dome with experience in education would be good for Athens. However, I'm not sure firing a shot across the bow of Georgia Power is the wisest way to kick off a campaign, even for a Democrat in Athens.
  • Interesting top 10 list on Georgia's transportation future from Benita Dodd at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. I agree with much of the piece (especially the need to consider technology, variable tolling and freight), except the author's knee jerk opposition to transit. While I agree that the proposed Lovejoy line will be a disastrous waste of funds, the Brain Train concept -- with destinations at both ends and a spine along growing, populated areas -- will succeed for all the opposite reasons and makes a lot of sense.

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