EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Let's work together to solve our problems

2012-11-11T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Let's work together to solve our problemsBy Michael Scholefield nwitimes.com
November 11, 2012 12:00 am  • 

As you're reading this, you in all probability have heard the machinations of those who have lost the election and the “here we go” accolades of the winners. What you and I have not heard much of is conciliatory calls for consensus, compromise and working together to move the country, the state, the region, our community forward regardless of party affiliation or ideology.

In other words, it sounds much like business as usual to some of us, and folks, business is not that good.

Pogo was a comic strip by Walt Lanz that hit the papers in 1941. In 1971, on Earth Day, Pogo emphasized pollution as a human-concocted problem, and, therefore – theoretically at least - similarly solvable.

I bring this up because it appears to me that the impasse which seems to hinder human advancement by realizing our potential appears to be of our own design.The economic quagmire we find ourselves in looks much like the once-pristine forest Pogo and his little buddy, Porkypine, contemplated.

Project, if you will, a President Pogo and the leader of the loyal opposition, Porkypine, early in January 2013 having a similar conversation. And while the environment remains a priority, add to that landscape education, employment, national indebtedness, foreign policy, and the way out of our current dilemma – predictable, sustainable economic growth and development -- and a similar conclusion could be reached. Combined, inclusive, intelligent, consensus-building leadership must admit, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Can the rhetoric of close, heated, sometimes misinformed campaigns be left behind in favor of a concerted effort to get on with it?


If you're in the neighborhood on Friday, please join us at the upcoming Chicago Southland Economic Development Corp. quarterly forum, scheduled for 8 a.m. at the University Club in University Park. Two major initiatives -- Chicago Southland Development Fund and Land Bank -- will be presented.

The overriding program goal is to develop a fund of $10 million to $15 million available for investment under favorable terms, while leveraging an additional $30 million to $50 million from conventional financing sources. Investment will focus on projects that build on Southland assets :

  • Housing and retail projects benefiting from public transit.
  • Industrial and logistics businesses anchored by freight transportation facilities.

Discussions of the Southland Fund have included consideration of a land bank. It would focus on Southland development projects that provide a predictable rate of return for their investors.

The Southland Fund is designed to make a critical difference in the development process in south and southwest Cook and eastern Will counties.

Discussions of the Southland Fund have included consideration of a land bank focusing on Southland development projects that provide a predictable rate of return for their investors.

On Friday, you will also hear from University Park President Vivian Covington regarding projects and opportunities in the village, and a review of industrial absorption in the Chicago Southland presented by Paine Wetzel executive Ed Wabick.

Join us on Friday. I'll buy you a cup of coffee.

Michael Scholefield is chairman of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corp. The opinions are the writer's and not necessarily those of The Times.

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