Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Culture of collaboration" needed in Cranbrook to move community forward

By Michael J Morris
 Buddy Dyer, the visionary mayor of Orlando, Florida, is "literally changing the face " of the city best known as a major tourist destination.
  Mayor Dyer, first elected in 2003,  in an interview with Orlando magazine  said “It’s about being able to create a vision and bring a lot of people into it, then move forward."
 The mayor has been real big on creating a "culture of collaboration" bringing together all levels of government, business people, educational institutions, the medical profession, and philanthropists, and of course the citizens of Orlando who have re-elected him.
The Dr Phillips Centre for the Performing Arts was opened on November 6, 2014, as one example, but he has also championed a sports and entertainment complex, the Medical City and Creative Village -- and other major projects.
On my recent visit to Orlando, I had the opportunity to visit the Medical City project. It is simply amazing.
 The Creative Village possibilities have intrigued me for some time, and at this point, in the interests of full disclosure, I visit Orlando regularly, and write for three blogs, owned by an Orlando based business.
 The article notes that "Thinking outside the box with proposals like ... Creative Village, the high-tech business-residential mecca that would be a metropolis in itself, goes along with Dyer’s vision of having the kind of city that will draw a creative class—'talented young entrepreneurs who are going to come up with the next innovation in emerging media or medical science or things of that nature.''
 Cranbrook voters went  to the polls to elect a mayor and council, and it seems to me they elected some candidates who would turn back the block to the old ways of running the city. That's not an option folks,  given the overall decline in relatively rural communities across Canada.

During a recent trip that took me through rural areas of three provinces, I was quite frankly shocked at the decline of rural communities. 
 Another option is to simply muddle along basically with same old, same old attitudes that are similar in nature to turning back the clock.
 There is a third option. Continue to define and implement a new vision for Cranbrook.
 Yes, there will be roadblocks but if Mayor Dyer can do it with all the challenges an American city faces, surely Cranbrook is up to the task before it.
 Just imagine, if we were able to attract those "talented young entrepreneurs" who will take Cranbrook to the next level as a better place to live, work and play. Mayor Dyer is moving Orlando from the city which Disney made famous, and adding to the mix for the 21st Century.
Let us move us forward positively in all aspects of community life, and not be divided with rhetoric and an approach to municipal government from a bygone age that some still like.
 Let's heed Mayor Dyer's advice that we continue with the vision, bring the entire community into it and move forward. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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