Making an Impact in 2018 and Beyond

There are all sorts of axioms, proverbs and “old sayings” that underscore a very basic truism – it’s better to be in on the front end of a decision than trying to reverse or work around it once made. It’s certainly true in business. A day...

What ‘Brown’ Has Done For Us

Does effective public policy become poor policy when it crosses a street? Is a bad idea in one part of town a good idea when it’s implemented a few blocks away? Those seem like odd questions. But they’re pertinent given the evolving attitudes among many local...

A ‘Desert’ Surrounded by Water

A “desert” isn’t something you’d expect to find in a region that’s home to the world’s largest fresh water supply. But it’s a serious reality to hundreds of area families and their children faced with a barren landscape of quality child care options. It’s a...

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...