August 6, 2009 By Elaine Rundle
To include its citizens in developing a new hazard mitigation plan, Catawba County, N.C., held public meetings to get feedback and ideas from its community. Some of the information that came from meetings involved the development of a new public-private partnership and learning about citizen efforts involving Community Emergency Response Teams.
"Obviously we don't have all the information that we need. Citizens live there - they know what the hazards are," said Mary George, assistant planning director of Catawba County.
The county developed a connection with the Contingency Planning Association of the Carolinas (CPAC), which is a professional peer group that shares information, education and resources in contingency planning in North and South Carolina, according to its Web site. A CPAC representative attended the meeting to develop a relationship with the county.
Go to Emergency Management magazine's Web site for more information about Catawba County's mitigation planning meetings.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.