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Visioning the Upper Delaware River Corridor   

Out of many, one

By Jonathan F. Rouis

When I became chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature earlier this year, I knew that if my colleagues in the legislature and I were going to be successful in building a better Sullivan County, we needed to change the way things had always been done, particularly with regard to the county’s economic development plans.

Whether it was the prospect of casino gaming or some other initiative, it has often seemed to me that Sullivan County is waiting for one grand catalyst that will spur the economy county-wide.I think first and foremost we need to get away from that type of thinking. Despite our size, Sullivan County has diversity among its communities. What works in Thompson or Liberty is not the economic development model that would work for Fremont, Tusten or Neversink; nor would we want the same type of development for these communities. We need to consider the communities we have, and the goals of their residents, and create one unified plan.

We have a number of agencies to help make this unified plan possible. I appreciate that we have dedicated Community & Economic Development and Center for Workforce Development staffs here in Monticello, and I also recognize and appreciate the efforts of our four outside economic development agencies: the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and the Sullivan County Visitors Association.

However, with six different entities, there are six different approaches to economic development, as well as six sets of goals and missions. I believe in order to move our economic development agenda forward, in order to bring sustainable, responsible development to our county and to have residents who are trained for these new jobs, these entities must work together, in name and action.

The Sullivan County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) would serve as the umbrella organization, and would co-locate the organizations at a new building in the Emerald Corporate Park. By having one location instead of six, Sullivan County’s economic development clients can obtain marketing, workforce development and business assistance in one location, rather than traveling from Liberty to Monticello, to six different offices.

Furthermore, with the EDC co-locating and staffing the six entities, we can dramatically reduce current redundancies. One office, with one rent payment and one set of office equipment would ensure that we can offer new and existing economic development clients the most professional services possible.

I am also advocating that we explore education as an economic development tool. Right now, Sullivan County is home to the healthcare cluster of Crystal Run Healthcare, The Center for Discovery and Catskill Regional Medical Center. All three of these businesses are growing, and between them will offer several hundred new jobs over the next 18 to 24 months. It must be our collective priority to ensure our local community college and workforce development agencies are offering the training and education our residents need to obtain these new jobs, which will pay a living wage and offer the health benefits so many of our residents need.

In the immediate future, we will begin meeting with all of the agency directors and board chairs to begin collaborative efforts, including the creation and implementation of the county manager’s proposed branding campaign, which will unite government, not-for-profit and for-profit entities under one Sullivan County brand, as well as the exploration of state and federal grant opportunities to make broadband internet solutions throughout the county.

(Jonathan F. Rouis serves as chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature and Legislator for District Four, which includes the Town of Mamakating and the Village of Bloomingburg.)

October 29, 2009
WES GILLINGHAM: The Catskills' future is up to us
September 3, 2009
JEFFREY MOORE: Destroying it won't 'save'it
August 6, 2009
BARBARA LEWIS: Trees: a legacy and a future
July 9, 2009
SARAH CUTLER: Share the road
June 11, 2009
SUSAN SCOTT: The democratization of information
May 14, 2009
MICHAEL CHOJNICKI: A turning point
April 16, 2009
JOHN CONWAY: Dual-mode transportation
March 19,2009
KEITH LEPAN: NY H2O
February 19, 2009
JEFFREY SEEDS: One-sidedness
January 17, 2009
TOM HOLMES: Taking back the power
December 25, 2008
TINA PALACEK: When a community is really a family


November 27, 2008
STEPHANIE TURNER: Gas drilling from a realtor's perspective
October 30, 2008
SUSAN SULLIVAN: From visiong to reality: the role of local government
October 2, 2008
MARY BETH WOOD: Investing in career and technical education
September 4, 2008
JOE LEVINE: When compromise is a recipe for disaster
August 7, 2008
VIDAL MARTINEZ: The Upper Delaware experience
July 10, 2008
WES GILLINGHAM: Sticking together
June 12, 2008
LINDA COBB: The Harmony Project
May 15, 2008
Barbara Arrindell: Looking back
April 17, 2008
JO CLEARWATER: Welcome to the new world
March 20, 2008
JONATHAN F. ROUIS: Out of many, one
February 21, 2008
MIKE URETSKY: Mired in gas
January 24, 2008
Some visionaries look at 2008
October 4, 2007
Greg Swarz: Coming Home
September 6, 2007
Jim Serio: Educating the Delaware River Basin
August 9, 2007
Stephanie Streeter: Still endangered?
July 26, 2007
Molly Rodgers: Be informed, be connected
July 12, 2007
Brad Krumholz: The landscape mind
June 28, 2007
John Bunting: Milk price and power
June 14, 2007
Brian Smith: It's time to work and worry
May 31, 2007
Carol Roig: Celebrating history close to home
May 17, 2007
Debbie Smorto: Be a part of the solution
April 19, 2007
Robert Dadras: Creating a new direction for Sullivan County
April 5, 2007
Dave Williams: Save your local dairy farm
March 22, 2007
R.A. Dubensky: Losing our future
March 8, 2007
Dave Williams: Save your local dairy farm
February 22, 2007
Troy Bystrom: Conserve to preserve
February 8, 2007
Alegra Jennings: Do you see what I see?
January 18, 2007
Amy Gruzesk: A new alliance for business in Pike
January 11, 2007
Grace Wildermuth: Our rural environment must be preserved


December 28, 2006
John Jose: Meeting the challenges of stormwater management
December 14, 2006
Daniel Kennedy: Making memories in Pike County
November 30, 2006
Stephen Stuart: Sustainable Solutions
November 16, 2006
Linda Cobb: The Harmony Project
November 2, 2006
Judy Harlan: What municipalities can do about flooding
October 19, 2006
Samuel Jackson: Walking the talk
October 5, 2006
Jay Epstein: The foundations of a viable plan
September 14, 2006
Tom Kane: The clean water act
September 7, 2006
Skip Mendler: A community of communities
August 24, 2006
FREDERICA LEIGHTON: Flood reality: vision or the lack of it
August 10, 2006
DICK RISELING: A vision of actions
July 27, 2006
PAT CARULLO AND MARCIA NEHEMIAH: Red plus blue equals green
July 13, 2006
Neal Halloran: Greenway: a program whose time has come
June 29, 2006
Steven Sharoff: Strong visions can change the world
June 15, 2006
Heinrich Strauch: Cooking up a vision
June 1, 2006
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski: The IDA keeps to its vision
May 18, 2006
Norma and Bob Santee: Maintaining our environment
May 4, 2006
Don Parry: The “vision thing”
April 20, 2006
Joe Walsh: Keeping farms a mainstay of Sullivan County
April 6, 2006
Heather Brown: Why I came here, and what keeps me here
March 23, 2006
Pat Carullo: We are with the program
March 09, 2006
Helen Budrock: The power of proactive thinking
February 23, 2006
Carol Collier: A basin-wide collaboration
February 9, 2006
Barbara Leo: A birding trail for the Upper Delaware
January 26, 2006
Virginia Kennedy: Our vision—economic and environmental sustainability
January 12, 2006
Tom Zeterburg: At the crossroads of two rivers
December 29, 2005
Sally Corrigan: Hallmarks of a successful community
December 15, 2005
“Better Models for Development” scores a hit - a compilation by Tom Kane and the Visioning Committee
December 1, 2005
Brian Stuart: Protecting an amazing backyard resource
November 17, 2005
John LiGreci: The need for a master plan
November 3, 2005
Tom Kane: The need for intelligent land use practices
October 20, 2005
Michael Chojnicki: The need for intelligent land use practices
October 6, 2005
Alan Schadt: The Town of Highland through a crystal ball
September 22, 2005
Ernie Mattern: Comprehensive Planning in Damascus
September 8, 2005
Jerry DaBrescia: Visioning in Hancock
August 25, 2005
Neal Halloran: Ways to secure open space
August 11, 2005
Clem Fullerton: Flow woes
August 11, 2005
Tom Kane: Options for preserving open space
July 28, 2005
Charlie Buterbaugh: Fishing Days Gone
July 28, 2005
George Fluhr: What's special about this place
June 30, 2005
Tom Kane: There are many visions in the river valley
June 30, 2005
Mary Curtis: My vision for the Upper Delaware River
June 16, 2005
Sarah Sutto-Plunz: It depends on us
June 16, 2005
Green buildings: a healthy revolution in the construction industry
June 2, 2005
Pat Carullo: If horses can fly, rivers can speak!
May 19, 2005
Laurie Stuart: A view from the ridge
April 21, 2005
Rosie Starr: Preserving the Beauty of the Delaware River Valley
April 7, 2005
Robert Burrow: Developing a plan takes study
March 24, 2005
Tom Kane: Comprehensive Plan: The Key to the Future
March 10, 2005
Katharine Dodge: We have a choice: aggressiveness or fairness
February 24, 2005
Editorial: A tide in the affairs of men
February 24, 2005
Jim Greier: Let’s not put our eggs in one basket
February 10, 2005
Elliot Zucker: A voice for private property rights
January 27, 2005
Steve Daley : Visions of business growth and home ownership
January 13, 2005
Laura Quigley : Living and working in the land of plenty
December 30, 2004
Dr. Martin Handler : My list of visions
December 16, 2004
Dr. Bruce Getzan : Bringing harmony to contrasting visions
December 2, 2004
Sally Talaga : Visioning’s first step
November 18, 2004
Michele Ulmer : Be involved before it’s too late
November 4, 2004
Marcia Nehemiah: It's all about the river
October 21, 2004
John Drobysh: Balancing preservation with property rights
October 7, 2004
Jeffrey Moore: Raising the standards in the river valley
September 23, 2004
Dimitri Zaimes: The right and wrong of the Upper Delaware September 9, 2004
Frederica Leighton: Combining hindsight, foresight, present awareness and action
August 26, 2004
Krista Gromalski: Turning the Conversation Up
August 12, 2004
Jo Clearwater: Visioning
July 29, 2004
Noel Van Swol: What about Property Rights?
July 15, 2004
Cindy Wildermuth: A call for stewardship
July 1, 2004
Tom Kane: Taking stock of the visioning process
June 17, 2004
Dick Riseling: Sustainability and justice is at the heart of vision
June 3, 2004
Peter Pinchot: Exurban sprawl or livable communities?