Just When You Thought Regionalism Was Dead …

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Southeast Michigan doesn’t have a reputation for regional cooperation. Heck, it seems we can’t even talk civil to each other at times. But, then came along the month of June. In the course of just one month …

– Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing struck a deal to keep GM in the Renaissance Center.

– Michigan’s Congressional delegation, Governor Granholm, Wayne County Executive Ficano, and Oakland County Executive Patterson worked to attract a new GE facility in the aerotropolis and retain GM’s Orion Township assembly plant.

– Nine (count ’em — nine!) local governments across Wayne and Washtenaw counties agree to form and fund (that’s right — fund!) an Aerotropolis Development Corporation to recruit new business around Metro and Willow Run airports.

– The Michigan legislature, Governor Granholm, Detroit Mayor Bing, and Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties reach agreement on renovating Cobo Hall.

All these successes had one thing in common: regionalism. It took collaboration by multiple jurisdictions to accomplish something greater than what one could accomplish working alone. In the new cash-starved Michigan, it’s the only way we can transform our economy.

Wonder what July will bring …

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