As one architect told me: There is a false choice presented by those who advocate for an ever—expanding bureaucracy. They believe that government and tax rates must grow if a city is to prosper.
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In fact, the opposite is true. A bloated, inefficiently run government that imposes high taxes and burdensome regulation will chase away jobs and homeowners, leading to urban decline. Petersburg, during our two terms, we reduced property tax rates by almost 20 percent, more than tripled emergency reserves, and reduced total city staffing by 10 percent. At the same time, we increased the number of uniformed police officers on the street, lowered violent crime rates — the murder rate fell to the lowest level in decades—saw high school graduation rates and student achievement rates rise dramatically, revitalized our downtown center, led a renaissance in the arts, and dramatically improved our most economically depressed area.
He by-and-large seems to understand how urban areas function, and how government can help support them. My biggest takeaway from the book was the use of a scorecard system City Scorecard , effectively an open government tool, to measure and demonstrate how different facets of the city are performing.
Many cities would be wise to adopt a similar system, and make it accessible to their citizens. Downtown is the heart of the city. It is the place where our crossroads come together, our common bond. You are probably not thinking of the suburbs, shopping malls, or industrial parks — you are picturing the downtown era.
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The most important way to entice people to live downtown is to make it a nice place. Among other efforts, the city government needs to participate in making the area attractive.
Beautification efforts area as critical to downtown residential successes as they are in the neighborhoods. Investments in sidewalks, paved crosswalks, decorative streetscaping, mast arm traffic lights, and downtown parks pay off. If the area is safe and pedestrian-friendly, and has retail, dining, and fun events, people will want to be part of the downtown neighborhood.
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The city's 34 agencies and 3, employees had defined goals and a sense of mission they measured progress against. Crime dropped dramatically, new businesses invested in the city, museums opened and a major league ball-team settled in.
The quality of life improved for all its citizens—most notably the core African-American community that had long been ghettoized, who found themselves in a revived community re-christened "Midtown. Rick Baker accomplished all of this while being a conservative in an urban environment. Maybe he should consider becoming 'Florida's Greatest State Senator. Nearby Places. Neighbor News Move Over, Giuliani! The Daily Beast Argues St.
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Petersburg's former Mayor should be considered "America's best mayor of the past decade. Back to the St. Pete Patch. The views expressed in this post are the author's own. Bill Kercher has spent nearly fifty years as an urban and regional planner in Florida; first as a public planner for county, regional and federal governments followed by twenty-five years with Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin, Inc. Since , he has focused primarily on the issues and opportunities offered by small cities and towns through his strategic planning practice, wck planning, inc.
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His focus has been to work inclusively—identifying the community context and mission and understanding economic potential—and thereby position specific initiatives to support broader goals, enhanced livability, and sustainable success. Pete has been involved in the following types of projects: citywide regional visioning; community redevelopment; transit-oriented urban development; main street and urban walkability projects; medical, educational, and office park campuses; urban public parks and trails; and neighborhood planning and enhancements.
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He is a leading proponent of the cross-collaboration of design and environmental disciplines. His projects have been recognized with numerous chapter American Society of Landscape Architects design awards. His focus is on smaller cities in the U. Mark freid, author at think creative inc.
Great news! Deric feacher, city manager winter haven. Government transformation: is government about widgets or about the people who make things happen? With headquarters in Miami, Florida serving North and South America and Offices in Hagerstown, Maryland, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and India, the firm brings its award-winning portfolio of projects to the leading developers of these serviced markets. While a design director with Arquitectonica, he was the design team leader for the American Airlines Miami Heat Arena, with the formation of his own firm, he was design architect of record for the 56 story Infinity at Brickell Tower and Grand Beach hotel to name a few.
Borges with the distinction of the Architect of the Year Award. Has lectured at numerous organizations and institutions on the topic of Sea Level Rise with an emphasis on the architectural and urban design challenges.
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Character towns are small cities and towns with special social, economic and physical qualities reflecting the unique authentic and emotional character of the town. It is physically attractive and functionally well served. In we launched the "Close the Gaps" initiative to promote this vision and educate communities around florida regarding the transportation, helth and economic potential of these connected trails.
In response to this initiative, the florida legislature created a new program in - the sun trails network within the florida department and funded the program at 25 million annually.