Chris Romer
Vail, CO Colorado

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April 6, 2012
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Vail Daily column: What exactly is TBD Colorado?

You may have heard about a new effort titled "TBD Colorado." And if you have heard of it, you likely wondered what in the world is TBD Colorado?

TBD ("To Be Determined") Colorado is a nonpartisan, collaborative effort designed to create informed and constructive conversations among Coloradans about some of the biggest issues facing the state. TBD Colorado will begin hosting community meetings throughout Colorado in April and May (including Eagle County meetings on April 18 and May 23 at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion). Several additional public summits will be held in June. Importantly, no state dollars will be spent on TBD Colorado.

From their website: "TBD Colorado" is a project which Gov. Hickenlooper launched as part of his recent "State of the State" address. TBD Colorado is an unprecedented effort to engage citizens across the state in a non-partisan conversation to find common-sense solutions to some of the biggest public policy challenges facing our state.

The long-term goals of the project include:

• Develop pragmatic, realistic solutions and consensus on big issues facing Colorado

• Develop a credible, enduring mechanism for non-partisan deliberation and consideration of public policy issues

• Determine policy outcomes, based on broadly shared perspectives on the future and not by short-term political agendas or ideological conflicts.

• Promote widespread public participation that includes an array of interests, geographically, culturally, professionally and age in determining what Colorado will look like in the future.

The Economic Council of Eagle County and the Vail Valley Partnership will be representing our community at these important regional meetings. We have done a variety of outreach via last year's Eagle County Development Plan as well as this year's Workforce Report and the Partnership's membership survey to help gauge what's important to our members and what trends our business community are seeing.

TBD Colorado is a unique approach in both its size and structure. By hosting meetings in over 30 communities throughout the state, TBD will be one of the largest and most inclusive civic engagement efforts in our state's history. And, by targeting and empowering a balanced spectrum of individuals within each community to engage in this conversation, TBD will promote constructive dialogue on these important issues instead of competing rhetoric.

Ultimately, the goal of this statewide TBD effort is to identify good public policy solutions that Colorado can implement to improve our quality of life and enhance our economic competitiveness. An additional important note is that this is a nonpartisan effort designed to include folks from a variety of industries throughout the state to have a voice in the future. The meeting on April 18 at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion is open to the public should you be interested in attending.

On a related note, the Economic Council and the Partnership are also involved in the Colorado Blueprint, through the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Throughout the year, their office will continue to meet with business leaders from key industries, including Electronics, Energy and Natural Resources, Bioscience, Food and Agriculture, Defense and Homeland Security, Aerospace, Information, Health and Wellness, Creative Industries, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation, Transportation and Logistics, Infrastructure Engineering and Construction, and Financial and Business Services. Rest assured that we'll be working closely to ensure that Eagle County has a seat at the table to help drive our regional growth and to explore future opportunities for our community.

What can your business do to help? If you benefit from these regional and statewide efforts, get off the sidelines and join the Partnership to ensure your voice is heard. If you are already a member, tell your neighbors to join to help us do more here in the valley.

As always, I encourage all member businesses to get engaged with the Partnership and to contact us with any suggestions you may have to help us better serve you and for non-members to join the Partnership. Call us at 970-476-1000 or stop by our offices in Avon at Traer Creek Plaza to share your feedback.

Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 6, 2012 11:59PM Published Apr 6, 2012 11:58PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.