Center for Excellence in Local Government Municipal Dinner
By Pamela Shupp Menet:
On Thursday, March 16th, I had the opportunity to address municipal officials and partner in Berks County. Wow. I am always astounded at the time commitment that these leaders put into their local community. It is certainly something to be applauded.
Some of them know about IMAGINE Berks, but not all – they are dutifully directing their municipality and may not have time to read our updates or be actively involved.
So, when I was asked to talk about – Regional planning and zoning for economic development and housing at the Municipal Officials Dinner – this is what I had to say…
When I thought about what I might say on this topic in two minutes or less – it was easy. If you care about the future of your municipality, you care about planning, and so do our County Commissioners.
I am happy to report that we have figured out that planning, economic development, community development, housing, ag preservation, open space, parks, workforce – it is all inter-related. All of it.
When we began the planning process for IMAGINE Berks – the county’s Strategic Economic Development Action Plan, we realized that we can’t think about our future and just let it happen to us. We have to plan for it. And the best way to accomplish that and the smartest way to accomplish that is to understand that inter-relatedness and the importance of strategic planning and regional cooperation and its profound impact on sound land use and public policy.
We need to work together so that we are sustainable. And I am not referring to sustainable in a political context. I am referring to the sustainability of our landscape, our physical spaces, our choices for where we want to live, and our local and regional economy.
Understanding our inter-relatedness and cooperation is the future of Berks County and we hope that you will be part of planning our future.
We have either been in your community or we are coming soon. Municipal meetings in 10 regions of the County and being held to hear from YOU and how do you envision your participation in planning, economic development, community development, housing, ag preservation, open space, parks…
And we ask you to be part of how we IMAGINE Berks.