Friday, January 2, 2009


Some really good things are beginning to happen in Stark County!

What follows is a discussion of some of the economic assets that Stark County currently possesses that need to be put to wider and collaborative use.

Todd Bosley's election as county commissioner has put in place a person who is proactively working to return Stark to her former greatness plus. He demonstrates political courage (e.g. the sales tax initiative); he is a proponent of efficiencies (e.g. the coming merger of the Stark County Sanitary Engineer and Stark County Engineer's office); he understands and is aggressive for business, commerce and industry (e.g. his own business, trying to get Volkswagen and Fiat to Stark, et cetera). Finally, he is showing that he has talent to bring disparate elements of the Stark community together to achieve common purposes (e.g. mediation of the Veterans Commission call for more county money, the Lawrence Township conflict between residents and a developer/builder et cetera).

William J. Healy, II as mayor of Canton has the academic wherewithal and real world business experience to fashion structures like the Stark Mayors Association and to push for collaborative efforts among and between this nascent groups intracounty and extracounty and the larger Northeast Ohio corridor community.

Newly elected Representative Todd Snitchler has worked enough with chambers of commerce to know their strengths and weaknesses. He needs to push chambers to get in touch with the 21st century as effective entities who are committed to embracing cutting edge techniques and strategies and to be accountable for achieve results being realized by Stark business, industry and commerce.

North Canton has an accomplished economic development person as city council president. Daryl Revodlt undoubtedly has many, many contacts in business, industry and government. What a magnificent "contacts person" he is for our county.

North Canton has a mayor (David Held) who is a first-rate administrator. Held's work as Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District CEO is praised from every quarter. No one in Stark knows how to manage better than David Held.

And there are others who have enormous potential as economic revival leaders the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) could describe.

But there is still something missing in Stark County and, indeed, many communities throughout the country.

What could it be?

The answer, The Report believes, is that there is too much "top-down" thinking in Stark County.

Stark County needs to form, incubate and flourish an economic development powerhouse by using its citizenry. In Stark County this is about 380,000 people.

What is proving to be an effective way to tap into this potentially huge resource?

The answer? Creating a fund, let's say a "Stark County Economic Development Incentive Fund" (contributed to my government, business, industry and ordinary citizens) which awards prizes to everyday citizens who come forward with economically viable solutions to previously insoluble problems.

The proposed fund in an example of a Wikinomics mechanism designed to bring the hoi polloi into a community's economic development efforts.

Wikinomics (Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams - December, 2006) is based on tapping into the masses premised on four concepts (Open, Peering, Sharing and Acting Globally) to reinvigorate economic production.

The Report posits that Stark County's economic gurus ought to be looking into the Wikinomics approach and determining whether or not this is a concept that can be applied for Stark economic benefit.

The video below shows how the incentive aspect of Wikinomics has been applied in the Chicago area.

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