The Myth of ‘Overdevelopment’

It didn’t take long for hot button issues to emerge as candidates began to come forth for this year’s Traverse City election. The city’s so-called “overdevelopment” was among the first talking points in the election run-up – making it an issue that deserves a closer...

Economic Development is Everyone’s Job

When the top choice for the Grand Traverse County administrator job recently emerged, it was an encouraging sign – one that underscored the importance of effective economic development strategies in moving the community forward. Among the curious and sometimes frustrating aspects of local government in northern...

Business and Politics: Both Better When Working Together

A recent report in a state business publication by former Traverse City-based reporter Lindsay VanHulle asked if business interests are losing their “clout” in Michigan’s state capitol. It suggested that “Lansing’s new GOP leadership is ignoring the priorities of business to pursue its own anti-tax...

Let’s Not Close Our Eyes to the Vision

Among the disappointing aspects of the poorly-framed “tall building” debate in Traverse City is that it seems to ignore a very strong message brought forth from one of the region’s great accomplishments – that being The Grand Vision. This amazing community-based land-use guide created just...

A Rising Soo Lock Lifts National Economy

There’s so much going on in the Grand Traverse region these days that it’s necessary to remind ourselves of other issues and projects happening beyond our backyard that are critical to the regional economy. We’re fortunate that one of those topics – the aging condition of...

Ballot Box Politics Equate to Poor Economic Policy

Catch phrases take hold because they supposedly advance common sense ideas in a concise way that’s easy to remember. But more and more they’re used to mask actual intent and likely outcomes, making it imperative that people look beyond seemingly straightforward words and phrases to...

Where to Invest? How About Northern Michigan

In an increasingly volatile and unpredictable global economy, investors these days are faced with difficult choices to the most basic of economic decisions: where to invest and grow their capital. With strained financial markets from the Far East to Europe to our own shores here...

Distractions Do Not Long-Term Solutions Make

“Divide and rule, the politician cries; Unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German author and statesman There are a vast number of structural and operational challenges facing our local communities, the state of Michigan and our great nation – some of...

Charting a New Course … Again

Communities are often like businesses in that they can go years – even generations – with many of the same people in leadership roles. In others, the door at the top can be revolving all the time. Neither is an ideal scenario. Businesses, like communities, can...