Leadership Exchange: Regionalism

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Tom Clark, EVP of Metro Denverkristiwyatt1 EDC, outlined the area’s code of ethics for dealing with leads and relocation. “Selling the Region First, Our Communities Second.” Here’s some of their code:

Metro Denver First

Honoring confidentiality

Collaborate regionally, compete locally

No solicitation of another community’s prospects

More info is better than less

No selling against one another

Retain existing companies in the region if we cannot accommodate them in our city (which has saved thousands of jobs)

26 communities in the Denver region have agreed to this code. Clark says that people aspire to be ethical and accountable, and it works well for them.

Our next panel, made up of mayors and the South Metro Chamber president, all gave high marks to City of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper for walking the regional walk. Kathy Novak, mayor of Northglenn, said that Hickenlooper rarely talks about Denver proper on its own, without giving recognition to other communities in the area. Nancy Sharpe, mayor of Greenwood Village, said that residents don’t always see how regionalism benefits them, but mayors and businesses there do.  South Metro Chamber President John Brackney said that their communities are “Colleagues first and almost exclusively… we are also competitors to an extent, but it is healthy, and it makes us all better. There is an expectation of leadership that transcends boundaries.” The group said that race and cultural issues are not perfect, but not as pronounced as in other cities. Water conservation is a big issue for Denver that is going to require regional solutions, and it will influence how the city grows. Since the Denver Metro Mayors’ Caucus issued a memo of understanding and started taking action, water consumption has gone down by 33%.

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