One Region director urges cooperation among communities

2013-05-17T00:00:00Z 2013-05-17T00:00:05Z One Region director urges cooperation among communitiesJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Dennis Rittenmeyer put his job description in simple language.

"I have got to try to get people to play nice in the sandbox and try to get something done," Rittenmeyer, executive director of One Region told members of the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce gathered at the group's monthly luncheon Thursday.

But, Rittenmeyer went on to tell them, the job isn't as simple as it sounds.

People going about their daily lives don't pay much attention to geographic boundaries, he said. Portage residents shop outside their city and other community residents conduct business within the city.

Rittenmeyer added, however, that those boundaries might as well be the "Berlin Wall" to some folks.

"We have more that unites us than divides us," Rittenmeyer said, urging people to work on finding the commonalities between communities in order to work together to improve the quality of life across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

Rittenmeyer told chamber members about the tasks being tackled by One Region, and revealed plans for its annual meeting, which will feature former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley this fall. One Region also will work on its 16 action initiatives, production every four years of the indicators report and quarterly meetings.

The format of the quarterly meetings, he said, will be shifting focus, changing from what some believe are simply debates without accomplishing anything to hosting a summit with goals. The first will be held this fall and will focus on health.

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