First off - a ginormous, gracious, and appreciative thanks to A.K., who until a few days ago was the Chief City Planner of the city of Youngstown.
With his guidance, the APA award-winning Youngstown 2010 plan was shepherded from concept to reality.
Best of luck to him and his family as they are moving onto future endeavors.
You've done a lot for this city over the years.
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But with these big shoes to fill, comes an important choice for the city's administration.
Who will fill this now-open position with the city?
The Youngstown 2010 plan has reached much international attention and acclaim. People around the country, and the world, are currently watching Youngstown to see if the 2010 plan spurs tangible process, or simply becomes a paper tiger gathering dust.
Without allocating sufficient resources to implement aspects of the 2010 plan, the citizenry's support of the plan itself and the leaders behind it may be forever damaged.
And that's why this moment presents such an golden opportunity to bring extraordinary talent, currently residing outside of the Mahoning Valley, into Youngstown.
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Sure, times are tight for budgets locally and across the globe.
However with the economy's downturn and a current over-supply of talent in the national market for planners, there are many qualified city planners who have participated in projects and developed knowledge away from Youngstown.
And, these planners can probably be recruited to Youngstown (now at a reduced price) to make their mark on the city.
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The global exposure of the Youngstown 2010 plan; the availability of experienced talent; the possibility for getting a lotta bang for the city's buck; and the potential to attract external knowledge - all feed together to make this a GOLDEN opportunity for the city's future.
Let's not waste this moment.