Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for May, 2008

Midtown Brews June 5th Be There!

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I just posted this over at Midtown Brews.  I think the topic, the speaker, and the opportunities at this event are so important and timely that I have decided to post this everywhere.


“Give me land lots of land, lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t Fence Me In”, the Cole Porter song sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters as well as a host of others.  On the other hand, Will Rogers said “buy land, they aren’t making any more of it”.


Our topic for the June 5th Brews is LAND.  County Treasurer Jim Rokakis will lead our discussion of the proposed land bank legislation that Ohio will tackle in November.  The passage of this legislation is only the beginning of what will be a transformative change in our region and Ohio.  How the land bank advisory board, the disposition of properties, and the decision-making process for local communities are shaped provides a huge opportunity to “get it right”.


Civic engagement and the public process will be critical elements of a “land bank” that will be a deciding factor in a new form of economic development.  How can the land bank be used to draw new businesses to our region?  How will it retain the businesses we now have?  How could it be used to draw in a skilled workforce?  Which communities will find new ways to use this tool to enhance the attractiveness of the live, work and play potential inherent in that community?  What is the potential to use the land bank to strategically plan for shrinking our footprint?  How will we balance quantity with quality?


This brews has the potential to give us an opportunity to start the conversation to begin thinking in new ways and bringing together the best practices of Open Source Economic Development. 

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 30th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Land Ho!

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Yesterday Tim and I attended County Treasurer Jim Rokakis’s talk at the City Club Forum.  It was informative and enlightening.  The proposed legislation creating the land bank will provide a time of great opportunity for our region. It can be transformative if done properly.

And that is the question.  Will the creation of this land bank allow local communities to think and develop creatively so that they will function in our new knowledge economy or will the same old development strategies come into play that will do nothing more than line the same old pockets?

Jim outlined the experts he contacted for the research needed to draft the legislation.  He told us that their is bipartisan support for the plan.  He told us of the plan to reach out to Lucas, Hamilton, and Montgomery counties so that they will have input before the legislation goes forward in November.

As always, he treated this controversial subject with compassion, humor, and the seriousness it warranted making for an enjoyable hour and half luncheon.  On Friday, you can go here to hear Jim’s talk in its entirety.  I would then suggest joining us on June 5th for Midtown Brews when Jim will be our featured guest

The legislation passage is only the first phase of the initiative. The bigger piece for me is the disposition of the land once it is banked.  What will the advisory board look like?  What will the function be? How will the county partner with local governments?  How will properties be slotted for demolition, mothballing or rehabilitation?  How will strategic planning be accomplished?  How do we assure that transformative economic development that creates sticky, quality connected places.  

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 29th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Cleveland

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Written by Gloria Ferris

May 24th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Cleveland

George tim and me at cafe marika

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Here we are at this month’s blogger meetup.



Written by Gloria Ferris

May 21st, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Cleveland