In 2013, we urge municipalities to set attainable goals and follow through with them. This year will bring change to our area with increased development. For example, the Walmart supercenter has been in the works for nearly a decade, and now it is scheduled to open in about six months.
Municipalities need to have strategies for growth and a direct vision for where they want to be down the line.
This includes updating comprehensive or master plans and perhaps revising municipal charters to accommodate changes.
In order to usher in a new era of growth, the cities' charters and plans must be up to date.
Don't forget the progress we made over the last few years. If your city took part the CEO Roundtable's recent Downtown Revitalization Symposium and you emerged with strategies to grow your downtown, don't let them collect dust. Turn them into progress points that can be measured to reach an ultimate goal.
This requires cooperation between elected officials, departments and municipalities. We hope 2013 ushers in a spirit of togetherness so the region can grow, especially now that Fulton and Montgomery counties have a combined chamber of commerce.
Remember the August 2011 Regional Business Plan for Fulton and Montgomery counties? The symposium was one of the goals in that plan: "Goal 4: Improve the Region's Quality of Life," which included reviving downtowns.
The Regional Business Plan in its entirety can be viewed on the chamber's website at www.fultoncountyny.org.
It contains a blueprint for creating a business-friendly climate for the region and retaining businesses. The blueprint is broken down into several goals that require schools, municipalities and business leaders to work together.
Don't just set these goals in the beginning of the year and forget them. Instead, set benchmarks throughout the year and time to revisit certain goals to make sure progress toward them is made.