As leaders we are constantly assessing our performance. Setting goals, mapping out objectives, bringing people together, building a resource base are activities that go with the job, but the question remains…are we progressive? As the leader, are we keeping our organization moving in a positive direction. Are there better ways to approach success?
Over the years of my work in community and economic development, I’ve been continually reminded of the role that values play. These come from various levels, including individual, organizational and community.
The review of subdivisions and land developments is an important part of local municipal planning commissions, which impacts how our communities look. Penn State Extension, as part of the PA Municipal Planning Education Institute, will be conducting a Course in Subdivision & Land Development on September 18, 25 & October 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at the Moscow Borough Hall, 123 Van Brunt St., Moscow, PA 18444.
The more people are involved in supporting the mission of an organization or the vision of a community, the stronger that community is. Volunteers learn about non-profit and municipal services through volunteering. They practice leadership skills. They get things done.
Too often, community organizations view each other as competitors for funding, clients, media attention and other resources. But it doesn’t have to be a tug-of-war.
When engaging in the development strategy of place-making, often arts are engaged. Can you think of other tools, disciplines, or your own individual interests that could work?
Do you have an idea for business? Have you tried to develop that idea? Many more businesses fail than succeed. In fact, the statistics show that about 75% of first time business start-ups don’t succeed.
In some places entrepreneurial growth abounds. Economic incubators and a creative or innovating culture help support new entrepreneurs.
Members of the Economic and Community Development Extension team were recently recognized at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals conference in Grand Rapids, MI for their series of webinars on land use issues
In order to achieve your dream house, a lot of planning and decision-making is done before building it. Likewise, in thinking about what a community will look like in the future, planning tools such as a comprehensive plan, a subdivision and land development ordinance, and zoning ordinances are helpful.
Recently I’ve been given the opportunity to serve as Chair of our local domestic violence center’s board of directors. It’s a challenging position and I am thankful to have the pleasure of working with competent, dedicated board and staff members. As a result I’m learning to depend more on others and will discontinue my use of the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” These days I’m all about committee work.
Think about a neighborhood in a community that you just can’t wait to leave; a place with vacant storefronts that may never be filled, or a block without much life. Could a committed group of local volunteers turn that place around in just one day?
At public meetings for comment, either no one shows up or the room overflows with people who have lots to say. Getting input from local residents on general issues such as public transportation, affordable housing, and local business development is sometimes challenging.
Farmland preservation involves more than acquiring the initial easement, it also includes monitoring future land use.
In today’s world of information overload it’s hard to keep track of who’s doing what, even in our own neighborhoods. And if you’re even a moderate technophobe, the array of social media that purports to link everyone to everything can be just as daunting.
A few years ago I was asked to develop a class for high school juniors that was interactive, educational, fun and focused upon the topic of Pennsylvania local government (immediate thought to self, “no way”). Is there anything more interesting than the study of PA Local Government?
What’s the most important number in determining your health? Your age? Your blood pressure or cholesterol level? How about your address?
We know many people volunteer for non-profit organizations and faith communities. But there has also been a long tradition of volunteers helping local municipalities reach their goals. Recruiting residents to serve as volunteers can be challenging.
Programs and policies are available to assist communities with farmland preservation.
Placemaking is a community development and planning term that is becoming popular these days. But the concept begs the question -- how do you define the boundaries of your place? Is it your individual property, your house or favorite room? Is it your street or neighborhood? Maybe it’s your favorite downtown. Or do you define your place boundaries by those of your municipality or zip code, or perhaps by your county or multi-county region? Perhaps place is defined by your state, country, or continent.