Participation’s the key

“Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations.”

-- John Maynard Keynes, 1936

New York’s state government has done a better job than the counties in articulating a coherent regional vision for the Hudson Valley. It’s not that Albany has come up with goals that are startlingly new. But it has devised a coherent system for a regional process that has amply rewarded regional participation.

The state’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), which despite formal representation from local government, academia and the business world remains very much a top-down process, issued a progress report in September refocusing its priorities to reflect changing circumstances. Motivated in no small part by being awarded $92.8 million in state funding under the consolidated funding application (CFA) process for 84 projects within the region last year, the regional group developed an ambitious list of priority projects for 2013.

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