As a part of the League's mission and through our communications efforts, we often attempt to highlight the good things that are going on in member town and cities.
It's seen in our Here We Grow campaign, where most recently the City of Albemarle posted a story about its continuing efforts to lure business and jobs there through its development of the Albemarle Business Center. It was also recently demonstrated in a recent episode of our Municipal Equation podcast, as NCLM's Ben Brown explored Benson's endeavors to leverage its new dog park along Interstate 95 to bring more commercial development to the town. (That episode, by the way, is entitled “Doggonomics," and yes, it's something to bark about.)
Putting a spotlight on these types of efforts – whether they are purely economic development driven or amenities that make a town or city a more attractive place to live – has the obvious benefit of allowing a wider audience to see and understand municipal governments' role and leadership in these projects.
But that spotlight also serves another role: Providing a platform for best practices that other cities and towns can emulate.
That said, we recognize that what works in one town or city is not always going to work for another. In fact, that is why, as an organization, we so often emphasize the importance of local authority and local autonomy. The idea that cookie-cutter solutions created in Raleigh or Washington are going to help solve the unique challenges in the diverse cities and towns that make up North Carolina is simply not realistic.