Can we give more attention to implementing policies and programs that build for tomorrow?
Effective public policy requires clarity of vision. Vision provides direction and offers a construct within which individual initiatives can be evaluated. It provides the basis for assessing progress. Vision is more comprehensive than just establishing goals. It places individual goals in context. It is also more graphic than goal setting. Along with stating the ‘what’ it communicates the ‘who’ and the ‘when’. Vision, is the effective way to conceptualize, explain and achieve buy-in.
Communities straddle the gap of being economically competitive and not. Absent coordinated and planful efforts, the competitive gap will widen to the point where it is no longer bridgeable.
We are less secure in such an environment. For those of us living in less competitive economies, property, personal safety and well-being will all be at risk.
Bridging the divide requires an honest assessment of where we are relative to the competition, the resources we have on which to build, and the careful planning and execution of each step forward.
It is here where vision is important. Absent knowing where you want to end up you cannot determine the most effective way to get there.
In addition, achieving any vision requires partners and resources.
Progressive tax policies go a long way towards forging meaningful partnerships between government and the private sector. Government policies that promote private sector investment, support the growth of markets, contribute to the formation of profits, which in turn fuel the growth of government revenues and allow investment in infrastructure, education and community well-being, are critical for promoting meaningful private public partnership.
Ongoing decision making needs to answer the question of how does each initiative build on what came before and, when implemented, does it help better address future needs. This only occurs in the context of vision of what we hope to be.
We live in a small community apart from others that are more competitive and have greater natural and manpower resources. Future generations require that we are thoughtful of what we leave behind. They will need capability and resources to address challenges we cannot foresee. Meeting this expectation requires data driven analysis of the possible paths ahead.
Small communities cannot deliver on every expectation. Vision, however, allows us to state what we want to be. Programs and initiatives can be overlaid to get us there.
Far too often we pursue a distorted reality, which promotes practices and spending that are unacceptable to residents of larger communities with far greater resources and capabilities. These are wasteful. They benefit the few at the expense of the majority, and, are counterproductive to economic growth.
There is much that can be done to better position our community for the challenges ahead. That, however, requires of us purposefulness and commitment It requires rejecting the frivolous, the popular and the momentarily gratuitous and addressing inconsistencies where they exist in community and government behavior. It requires taking meaningful and decisive steps, which position us to be better tomorrow than we are today.
And, most importantly, it requires vision.