Term Paper: National Association of Regional Councils

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[. . .] According to the NARC, "Today, NARC welcomes membership from other public, private, academic, nonprofit, and civic regional organizations and interests as we work to engage the regional community in achieving regional excellence." (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)Apart from bridging the gaps between state, federal and local governments the organization envelops the concepts of regionalism as a global solution and continues to advocate for safety and access on a national and even international level.

Through the catch phrase "Think Globally Act Locally," an individual voter may begin to understand that during the media blitz associated with the national and especially presidential election season the real responsibility of the voter should lie not only in the understanding of national platforms but in the more at home reality of the need to elect and appoint local and regional officials with wisdom and understanding. Though the elected and appointed bureaucratic entities of the national government may garner more attention and are responsible for many decisions that effect local entities the funding is only the beginning and regional officials decide how that funding is spent.

Local and regional entities decide how our children are educated and how industry impacts our regional environments, as well as many other important and sometimes very personal issues. It is through regional government that many dreams are realized and many key decisions are made. A regional government can decide if a local city or town will have sustainable industry, by these decisions the number of local jobs is impacted. Regional government decide if it is cost effective to employ mass transit that works for a community or to continue to focus on systems that are ineffective and/or behind the times. Through organizations like NARC regional officials gain knowledge of how other similar sized communities deal with issues of racial divide and education focus and quality.

Chapter 2

NARC in Form and Function: equal representation and global focus

NARC serves as a central entity to combat the sometimes heated and sometimes emotional issues surrounding state and local welfare. The personality and drive of individual members of governing boards often issue forth perceived conflict in decision making forums. Adding to this the integral function of public input and the often very personal nature of the issues being discussed at these same forums can lead to a near explosive environment for the development of plans and practices. "Collaborative processes and other new ways of interacting are a growing part of elected officials' environment. The states play an important role in building local government capacity in the use of collaborative skills and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is at the local level where problems are encountered face-to-face." (Cigler, 1998, p. 63)

Exploring the form that the NARC takes in the development of goals and functions can be a helpful tool in understanding the interdependence that an independent entity might show NARC. Like many of the organizations it serves NARC is governed and administered through the entity of a Governing Board. Having the special knowledge of working with this form of decision making in itself may prove invaluable to a local entity seeking the assistance of a NARC program.

Though the purpose and function of a board of directors system is to establish an internal system of checks and balances among decision makers in any given organization, the dynamic is often challenging and some would even say cumbersome. Even in its imperfect state governance by a board of directors is an almost universal establishment, enabling organizations to maintain accountability and determine functionality of and given group. Once again NARC finds itself in a position as a model for the groups it assists.

The practical enlistment of national experts on issues that govern the development and practice of regional councils has strengthened the function of NARC over the years.

The officer core of NARC includes names from many areas and of coarse fluctuates in form through elections and terms of service:

Officers

President: Richard Butler, Wilbraham Planning Board, Wilbraham, Massachusetts

President Elect:F. Wayne Hill, Chair, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Vice President: James L. Kennedy, Chairman, Butler County Government Center, Butler, Pennsylvania

Immediate Past President: Oscar Soliz, District Clerk, Nueces County, Texas

NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)

Yet, the collaborative form of NARC does not end with just the officers as in its entire board of directors there are Regional Representatives, at-Large Representatives, Executive Directors Committee Representatives and other Appointees, in all the NARC governing board currently encompasses members from more than twenty three states who represent regional entities that govern all fifty U.S. States. The regional representation includes designations for groupings of state or states with regional interests:

Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)

Region II (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)

Region III (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia)

Region IV (North Carolina, South Carolina)

Region V (Georgia, Florida)

Region VI (Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin)

Region VII (Kentucky, Tennessee)

Region VIII (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi)

Region IX (Michigan, Ohio)

Region X (Texas)

Region XI (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri)

Region XII (Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming)

Region XIII (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah)

Region XIV (California)

Region XV (Oregon, Washington)

Each region then has a regional representative who resides and serves some regional office or function in the state or one of the states of interest to the region. (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)it is in part because of this regional representation and because of the very practical development of a partner, workhorse if you will through the ITRC (Institute for the Regional Community) that NARC continue in its roles as an effective regional leadership organization.

NARC sees its role as three fold: Advocacy, Member Education and Regional Outreach. In these functions NARC defines Advocacy as representing the legislative and regulatory interests of regional councils, advocating at both the state and also the national levels for regional initiatives that will serve to improve the quality of life in regional communities. (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)in Developing Regional Strategies:

NARC advocates for regional approaches with federal and state governments -- including campaigns such as "Regional Councils Make Growth Smart," and "Regional Councils Make Federal Programs Work." NARC monitors legislative developments impacting regions and advises member regional councils through the electronic bulletin, NARC Legislative Update. (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)

NARC provides member education to help them address tough regional challenges through an always-active system of conferences, publications and technical assistance and training.

It defines Member Education as, Fostering Regional Cooperation, "NARC provides training and technical assistance on the latest regional developments, conducts research on timely regional topics, and promotes regional cooperation through its conferences and publications -- including the Regions newsletter, the eRegions electronic bulletin, electronic List Serve bulletins, and our Web site." (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)

NARC sites functions of its role as an educating force by sighting its annual Washington

Policy Conference which brings "regional leaders together to discuss federal legislation and policies impacting regions, and to set NARC's legislative priorities for the year." (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)NARC and its ITRC (Institute for the Regional Community) also sponsor the National Regional Summit held simultaneously as the Washington Policy Conference "to explore regional initiatives and innovative approaches to regional issues." (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)Additionally NARC holds an Annual Conference and Exhibition, hosted by a different regional council every year and an annual Executive Directors Conference affording local officials from all over the country opportunities, "to network, take advantage of professional development offerings, and share information and ideas on the latest regional projects." (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)

NARC brings members and other outside individuals and organizations together to develop and promote regional cooperation. NARC credits its development of its Institute for the Regional Community (ITRC), to cooperate with NARC as it hosts a national Regional Agenda at its annual Regional Summits, preparing periodic national State of the Regions reports, and awarding Regional Honors to individuals, organizations and regions that achieve regional excellence. (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)NARC defines it final role, Regional Outreach, Engaging Community Leaders, Citizens and Organizations as:

NARC founded the Institute for the Regional Community in 1994 as a forum for exploring regional initiatives and bringing together different regional organizations and interests. The ITRC, which publishes the quarterly journal, the Regionalist, is currently studying the creation of an alliance of the regional community to strengthen regional cooperation in the new century, and is looking at the concept of a regional information clearinghouse -- a national database to help communities address regional challenges. (NARC, 2003, (http://www.narc.org/)

Through these formidable roles NARC establishes a baseline for the development of pockets of regional growth that added together make a whole state and a whole nation. Above all else, NARC fosters community growth and community independence through interdependence.

Chapter 3

NARC Acts and Achievements: both micro… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/national-association-regional-councils/8786404.