Posted: 9:06 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012
Nine counties discussed at forum:
Chatham County, Ga.: Education drives historic redevelopment in Savannah, while businesses drive economic growth. Migration increases wealth, population and education attainment.
Hillsborough County, N.H.: State maintains fiscal control over county. County is very weak. Cities and towns act independently of each other and the county.
Knox County, Tenn.: Migration of retirees and individuals with higher education attainment to the area; A no poaching agreement for economic development. Moderate climate, affordable cost of living and scenic Smoky Mountains are advantages.
Lane County, Ore.: Largest employers are government and health. Migration is from California and consists of many with high education attainment; Local governments meet in a council; one-stop for economic development and united front seeking federal and state support. No sales tax and low property taxes create favorable tax climate.
Lehigh County, Pa.: Growth from Hispanic population and migration from east coast. Moderate taxes and quality of life draw businesses and people. Many competitive local governments are learning to cooperate via Congress of Governments.
Madison County, Ala.: Growth from two BRAC rounds and federal research facilities. Local governments are very cooperative and there is good cooperation between federal facilities and the region. Cost of living is affordable.
Onondaga County, N.Y.: Education and Healthcare dominate, but business community, Syracuse University, county and city are forging new economy based on invention and entrepreneurialism.
Spokane County, Wash.: Steady population growth since 1970. Stable employment via government (military) and education. Affordable cost of living with no individual income tax. Council of Governments has no compete agreements.
Utah County, Utah: Diverse economy is multilingual, global and entrepreneurial. Universities play an active role in workforce development and entrepreneurial assistance. Low property and corporate taxes.