Regional partnerships strengthen our competitive edge
As I dive into leadership here at the Council, my excitement to be part of this organization is only growing. I believe in the mission and work of the Council. My first weeks on the job have only strengthened my sense that our region is strong and economically competitive as a direct result of our shared commitment to regionalism.
In a region with seven counties and nearly 200 communities it is imperative that we develop strong collaborative relationships with our external partners.
I know there are many places these relationships already exist; I also know there are many places those relationships can be fostered and strengthened.
My goal for these early months is to visit and meet with our partners all across the seven counties - both regular partners, and some new faces. I kicked off a seven-county tour earlier this month with several visits to Washington County. I met with a range of local officials, including the Hugo Mayor and the entire Washington County board. I also toured Lake Elmo Regional Park – I’m looking forward to taking my two boys there soon!
At a ribbon-cutting for roadway improvements in Blaine, our regional partnerships were on display. From county to local officials, community members and staff, we all have a role to play in projects that improve our livability and the prosperity of our region. We can disagree on issues and still work to find common ground to move us all forward.
My goal is to spend time in all the seven counties by later this fall, meeting with county and local officials and all our partners who share responsibility for maintaining vital regional infrastructure and finding ways to keep our region strong.
Having been the State Rail Director and from my work in Hennepin County and in Washington, D.C., I know this work isn’t easy. Public servants face many challenges, often surrounded by polarizing debate and public criticism. But I am confident that if we listen to one another with an ear towards mutual solutions, we will succeed together in realizing our shared vision for a region that is prosperous, sustainable, livable and equitable.
Alene Tchourumoff, Council Chair