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Showing posts from July, 2014

Columbus, OH and Atlanta, GA

Columbus, Ohio, (population: 822,553) and Atlanta, Georgia, (population: 447,841) have many similarities.

Both are homes to phenomenal universities, The Ohio State University and Georgia Tech, respectively. Yet, both cities have managed not to become typical "college towns." Meaning, these large colleges are not the dominant, or in some cases the only, economic drivers in the community.

That's no easy feat. Ohio State currently has about 63,900 students while Georgia Tech claims roughly 14,500.

The fact that these institutions are not the primary economic powerhouses reflects strong local leadership and planning, solid economic diversification and vitality, and a desirable place where education is only one of many community assets.

Both cities are landlocked. Both cities are their respective State Capitals. And both cities remain atop the places to live, visit, and do business in the United States.

That's admirable. Well done Columbus and well done Atlanta!

Ohio's Farms and Agriculture

Wednesday I attended the Ohio State Fair. Had a great time by the way, but what stood out most is Ohio's vibrant and proud agricultural tradition. 
Ohio is home to such giant urban centers as Columbus (where I am currently vacationing), Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, and Toledo. However, agriculture remains a vital economic driver in the Buckeye State. 
The landscape is flat. Rivers flow. Rail runs through the state and The Ohio State University has a highly-demanded agricultural program. 
I am amazed to see such rural pride, scenery, and economic impact of farming and agriculture that is here in Ohio.
Pictures below is a butter cow at the Ohio State Fair. Yes, a butter cow.

A Study: Romans 3 Pt. 2

Last post laid the ground work for this post. Romans 3 is packed with truths and fundamental wisdom every one needs to know. It drives home one simple fact: God's saving grace comes through Christ's death and resurrection.

Before going any further, I recommend you read the previous post.

Romans 3:25 "propitiation" means to satisfy or appease. "Forebearance" means to hold back.

One of the Hebrew names of God is Jehovah describing God's nature as a righteous judge. As the righteous judge, He must punish sin.

In Romans 3:25, we read of God's forebearance passing over the sins of the world. In other words, God held back His wrath from those who sin. Instead of destroying everyone the moment they sin, God graciously holds back His judgement.


To save sinners (which is all of mankind based on Romans 3:23) from the eternal punishment they deserve for their sins and to lead everyone back to Him (Romans 2:4).

Christ's sacrifice satisfied the offended…

A Study: Romans 3 Pt. 1

Truth for everyone is found in Romans 3.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:22). Jesus is our redeemer (Rom. 3:24) and God-sent propitiation (Rom. 3:25). 
Because of Jesus, we are justified (Rom. 3:24). God sent Jesus to be man's redeemer and propitiation because of God's own grace (Rom. 3:24) "to demonstrate His righteousness" (Rom. 3:25) and to justify those who put "their faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26).
To redeem is to repurchase.
We'll connect the dots to all of these terms and definitions in the next post, but for now, familiarization with these phrases in context of the Scripture gives the setting for understanding Christ's sacrifice and God's grace.

Money & Shout Outs

I have wormed my way into is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D. and William D. Danko Ph.D. This book dives deeply into the psychology, habits, and financial discipline of millionaires. I am halfway through chapter two and here are a few observations I'd like to share:
Most millionaires set financial goals and build the discipline to accomplish each.Most millionaires aren't big spenders. In fact, wealth has absolutely nothing to do with materialism nor consumer spending goods and services.Most millionaires budget, tightly. That's because they have cultivated good financial offense and defense...Financial offense is income generation. Most affluent households have incomes higher than the US average which was, at the time the book was written (1996), $30,000. Financial defense is being frugal. Most non-millionaires and high-earning, low net worth Americans are on a non-stop earn-spend cycle. Saving, budgeting, wisely investing, and being frugal are four weapo…

Cars and Air

Car and air quality, what's the connection?

More cars = more air pollution.

Every community has its respective traffic issues, whether real or perceived. And in most cases, the solution is widen existing lanes or add new ones. Although this is logical, there is a method to the madness.

Whenever considering transportation projects, communities should always consider air quality standards. These standards could significantly limit transportation enhancements. More and more communities are waking up to the importance of sustainability, climate change, and walkability.

Planners and economic developers are really beginning to realize there are other means to fix transportation problems and not all of them involve roadway expansion. Sidewalks, bike trails, railroads, and airports are also means of travel. Sidewalks and bike trails in particular do not emit any kind of chemicals into the environment.

Keep This Is In Mind For Economic Development Budget Planning

Perhaps the most important kind of planning any economic developer could undertake in a given year is not land use planning, not long-range planning, not master planning, but BUDGET planning.

No budget, no project. Budgets- the allotted funds set aside for given activities- are the financial foundation of most economic development projects. In fact, any type of land disturbance, consultant work, or infrastructure-related projects all require money. Budgeted money.

Budgets are a direct reflection of the fiscal year's priorities.

Having just finished up planning my department's FY15 Projected Budget, I can testify that preparing the budget is no easy task. It requires a focus into the short-term and long-term needs of the community coupled with good timing.

If you are preparing a budget for your economic development organization, keep these three matters in mind:

Put the community's needs above your organization's goals. After all, we are here to serve our communities. Th…