Emerging collaborations with Team NEO

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sun, 04/30/2006 - 18:24.

One of the major challenges in Northeast Ohio is a lack of collaboration and alignment.

This dynamic is slowly changing, however. Here's some evidence of the shift. Team NEO, the region's's economic development organization, has formed a partnership with two major port authorities. The agreement establishes a structure to share prospects opportunities in a cooperative way.Read more.

Most economic development professionals know that these types of regional collaborations are very difficult to negotiate, execute and maintain. The success of these agreements depends on a high level of mutual trust. So, the mere fact of three organizations in Northeast Ohio have come together to execute this type of agreement is a significant event.

Interestingly, this event was not covered in the Cleveland papers.

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Good development with Team NEO and Ports

Thanks for pointing this out, Ed - it may be more important than it appears. I know Tom Waltermire, Chief Executive Officer of Team NEO, and he is a smart progressive guy - having the leadership of Team NEO combining with the needs and opportunities of the Port Authority brings many more eyes and minds to the table for all Port Authority related activities. As the article you reference mentions, "The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has pioneered the effort to fully utilize the port's full economic development capability," said Gary Failor, President of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. "This partnership creates a fully integrated economic development team serving Northeast Ohio." I've been very concerned the Port is too focused on its "full economic development capability" without adequate checks and balances - and the County has funded a study on the future of the Port - so now I am very pleased to see a combination of community leaders taking charge of what is both a great opportunity and risk... the exploitation of our transportation grid.

VACUOUS ALLIANCE ?

I am on the TeamNeo email notice list - having attended several of their meetings - and I rec’vd the collaboration announcement several weeks back. 

 

Reading the announcement I reacted that this was another vacuous alliance – more for public PR appearance than for pragmatizing or innovating  development with regional overtones.    

 

I didn’t read of any particular program or idea, rather what I read was glib=speak. 

 

Take this quote which was in the announcement and which Norm notes:

 

"The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has pioneered the effort to fully utilize the port's full economic development capability,"
said Gary Failor, President of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
This is what I call glib=speak.

 

 Sure, the Cleveland PA has used its bonding capacity – but not to do anything forward thinking - that I know of.   The PA appears to me to be bonding what a commercial bank should be bonding.   The parking structure which the PA bonded for the Cleveland Clinic is a perfect example of the PA missing their aegis.   The Clinic doesn’t need to take advantage of the PA bonding – the Clinic could go to any commercial bank. 

 

 If this stand-in for commercial banks  is what the PA thinks is their mission – I believe they are missing the proverbial boat.  I believe the authorities’ charter is to support economic development which has a difficult time finding standard commercial financial support.   Only in this way will the PA add a civically important alternative and thus expand economic opportunities in NEO.