How Tallahassee does it


I’m still urging everyone to read “Our Towns” because it offers so many interesting examples, across such a wide spectrum, of how struggling small cities can, and have, revived themselves. If the topic interests you, but you have not been sufficiently motivated to go buy the book yet, let me offer a single example for free.

Last week the New York Times published a piece called A Florida City Wants More Retirees, and Is Going After Them. It’s a quick read and an excellent example of how having a clear goal, some creativity and a well executed plan, resulted in major results for Tallahassee, Florida (above), a city of about 191,000, which sought to catch up to neighboring cities in growth.

Their budget was modest, but their ideas and execution were very good, and they got results quickly. It also worth noting that the goal was also modest. They wanted more retirees. There are plenty of people in Warren who will laugh at the idea of attracting retirees. Anything less than a 5,000 person factory isn’t worth their time or effort.

And Warren should participate in the game of offering free land and tax rebates along with everyone else. We should compete for those opportunities when they present themselves and make economic sense. But opportunities like that are few and far between, and only caring about them is like a baseball team that only swings for the fences and turns its nose up at the idea of hitting doubles, or stealing bases. There’s a reason no baseball team employs this strategy.

We need to be creative and look for niches where we can get those singles and doubles. String a few of those together and you have a run or two.

Posted Thursday, June 14th, 2018 under Economic development.

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