Community and Economic Development
You are the mayor of an economically distressed city of 45,000 in upstate New York that has decided to hire a consultant to help plan the city’s community and economic development. You are thinking about questions you will ask prospective consultants when you interview them next week.
Once a thriving manufacturing center, your city is now in decline. Major employers have left the area, leaving only a hospital which is itself struggling because of the high number of uninsured patients that it serves. Though there is a county community college nearby, many of the city’s youths leave for 4-year colleges and end up re-settling elsewhere. In the last ten years, this outflow has been stemmed only by immigrants entering the city. As you might expect, with business tax collections down, the remaining population bears an increasingly heavy burden just to keep the town running. Roads and bridges are deteriorating; the schools are also crumbling and classes are becoming larger as public funding declines. To make matters worse, the student population consists of a disproportionate number of special needs children. The population is aging rapidly and the decline of middle class life, once taken for granted, is reflected in a shrinking median income and a poverty rate that exceeds the national average.
indicate what qualities you will seek in your consultant and the top five priorities that you would expect him/her to address in the interview.