Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tough Times Call for Tough Conversations

So, what better time to get together and ‘engage’ than now?

This Friday evening after work, we’ll be hanging out at McGinty’s on Ellworth Drive to ‘talk shop’ – and more.

Some of us have been doing these ‘informal, unofficial’ gatherings for quite sometime… You never know who might just stop by!... Visit our web-site to see pictures & rsvp:

[By the way, this will be an excellent opportunity for all the 'followers' of this blog to actually 'press the flesh' in person... Hi-tech is good; but, hi-touch is better!]

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to do a workshop at the National League of Cities Conference being held in DC. It was a real pleasure interacting with a room full of elected officials from (predominantly) small cities throughout the United States, from California to Georgia. It never seizes to amaze me how incredible unique we are here in Silver Spring – yet how incredibly similar we are to so many other places.

Needless to say, the conversation never strayed too far from the budget challenges being faced by all municipalities… It is like the gauntlet felt by the private sector 15 months ago has now hit us…

Yet, it is not in every jurisdiction that the leadership is up to the task at hand. We are fortunate here in our County for that to be the case. Our County Executive’s recommended budget is a great example of this.

If you have not seen the detail, it is all there for all to see at:

No doubt about it, things will change.

For example, as of FY11, the mission of the Regional Centers will refocus on:
• Connecting to communities; and,
• Supporting the advisory groups.

We will continue to work closely with the community but more in planning, problem-solving, and connecting assets to opportunities (which is our core mission.) We will be identifying resources and processes – again, connecting assets - rather than actively helping with administrative tasks and activities (i.e. providing and distributing publicity posters, assisting with on-site activities at community events, etc.) We’ll continue working with agencies in facilitating connections between them and the community and vice versa, but will not be assisting with their direct services (i.e. Transit’s fare media sales, day-to-day building management, etc.). We’re basically returning to our basic mission.

Our Regional Center will be a very different place this summer and beyond from what it has been in the past:
- We will do more engaging, but less services.
- We will do more convenings, but less documenting
- We will do more connecting (internally and externally), but less fixing specific problems

We will focus on the Civic Building and Veterans Plaza not only as a facility, but as our venue for engaging, convening, and connecting with our community and to accomplish our mission.

We will continue with the Jazz Festival, Thanksgiving Parade, and Community Celebrations*/Summer Concerts; and other investments that are key to our economic vitality. (*The “Community Celebrations” will focus on celebrating the Town Center.)

…Talking about ‘conversations’, join us next TUESDAY, March 23rd at 7pm at Discovery Communications for the next convening regarding our Civic Building and Veterans Plaza…

Indeed, tough times call for tough conversations… Please chime in!


Anonymous said...

Mel Tull is a saint.

gridlocksmith said...

If people sincerely want to work together to create a community that works well for everyone, the conversations don't have to always be so tough.

These words, "We will continue to work closely with the community but more in planning, problem-solving, and connecting assets to opportunities (which is our core mission.)" are good. Let's see if they can be put into practice.

A local "blind" blogger has been having some difficulty getting some respectful action from the powers that be, on an issue that desperately needs addressing. Check out his story at his blog... http://montgomerysideways.blogspot.com/ .

He is not the only person affected by poor thinking and poor enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we age, or encounter life-changing events, the provisions of ADA can become very important to each of us. It is in our best interests to see that things get handled properly... and it is of immediate concern to many.

This is a great opportunity to see what we can do; don't you think?

BTW- Is Mel related to Jethro?

gridlocksmith said...

Sorry. I should have been more specific. I refer to the March 2, 2010 entry, "Just Wait." Or, just paste http://montgomerysideways.blogspot.com/2010/03/yesterday-i-sent-letter-copied-below-to.html into your browser.
William Smith is a good guy, and deserves support from the community in his efforts to raise awareness of government officials.

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