NLC Holds Roundtable on Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development

By McFarland, Christiana | Nation's Cities Weekly, February 8, 2010 | Go to article overview

NLC Holds Roundtable on Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development


McFarland, Christiana, Nation's Cities Weekly


NLC hosted a roundtable of top economic development professionals last week at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Leadership Summit in Houston. NLC met with the professionals to get their take on what makes for an effective local elected role and mutually supportive elected-staff relationship for economic development.

Economic development professionals say that they look to their elected leadership to work with the community, establish a vision for economic development, be a champion for the vision and trust staff to implement the vision.

"Now, more than ever, local elected officials play a critical role in economic development," said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. "The continuing decline in local economic and fiscal conditions requires strong leadership to help communities redefine their future and stay the course to realize their potential."

Additionally, the professionals suggested that elected officials can support economic development by:

* Convening and facilitating communication between economic development stakeholders to identify what each can bring to the table to accomplish common goals;

* Understanding changes in the economy and having realistic expectations about how and when economic development can impact economic goals; and

* Helping create conditions conducive to economic development, including linkages with infrastructure, housing, workforce development, land use and the regulatory environment. …

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