BLOG: Three Major Challenges Facing Older Cities and How We Can Help

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter May 10, 2016 BLOG: Three Major Challenges Facing Older Cities and How We Can Help Infrastructure,  Innovation,  The Blog Helping older cities address their challenges isn’t just a city challenge; it’s a commonwealth challenge. That’s because the challenges older cities face are challenges for all Pennsylvanians. All of us need our cities to succeed and flourish.Let me start with a little background. Up until a few years ago when I entered a career in politics, I was a business owner in York, PA. As a business owner in York, I had a big interest in seeing York succeed. I was involved in a number of York-centered civic organization. Most prominent among them was Better York, a CEO organization devoted to the revitalization of the city of York. The members represented different sectors of the economy, but we were united in the belief that our region could not survive a declining and decaying city at its heart. And that’s exactly what York was doing – declining.Like every other third class city in Pennsylvania, York was struggling. Its struggles looked a lot like the struggles other Pennsylvania cities were facing. But why was York struggling?The problems with urban areas stem from failures in the broader society in which those cities operate. First, cities are constantly assaulted by policies that hamstring them. Second, cities suffer from social imperfections. And finally, our older cities suffer from a lack of imagination.First of all, the public policy environment in a place like Pennsylvania is not at all kind to cities.One strong example of this is our public education system in Pennsylvania. It is an unfortunate truth that Pennsylvania’s public education system relies on local funding for its existence.This means that for the most part, education funding is most generous to America’s most prosperous communities and of course least generous to its least prosperous citizens. The greater your school’s challenges, the less funding we give you.The commonwealth ranks 45th in the nation in terms of the state’s share (%) of funding for basic education. This, combined with the small sizes of Pennsylvania’s school districts leads to very large fiscal disparities between school districts. Poorer school districts get far less than we need them to get. As a result, children in these poorer school districts get less of an education than we need them to get and as a result, the areas of concentrated poverty have schools with fewer resources and higher taxes.We could do a lot to level the tax playing field by making the funding of public education fairer. And we could accomplish this simply by having the commonwealth pick up a bigger share of the funding burden from the local levels. All local municipalities would benefit from this change. Cities would benefit the most.Second, social pathologies have harmed cities.There is a clear pattern of racial segregation in the sprawling pattern of metropolitan growth. For example, in 1990, the African American population of the York metro region was 2.9% of the total population and almost 82% of them live in the city of York.By almost any statistical measure, this made York one of the most segregated metro areas in the nation. As a consequence, to be poor and a person of color was very different than being poor and white in the York metro region. That’s because white poverty is evenly distributed throughout the region. Six out of seven poor white families send their kids to middle-class schools. By contrast two out of three African American and Hispanic children go to schools where the poverty rate is above 60%. This pattern does not appear to be random. Race does still play a role in shaping living and migration patterns in America. And it has led to patterns of metropolitan growth that has had a negative effect on the economies of cities.Finally, urban areas face a challenge of imagination.Too many Americans have come to feel that cities are a bad bet, a throwback to a different era. The goal of the typical American is to inhabit the suburban space. So pervasive is this idea that it has come to be regarded as fact. The form of the city remains relevant today.My wife and I rent an apartment in Philadelphia and it’s liberating that we can walk – not drive – out of our apartment and find a restaurant, supermarket, retail store, museum, theater, or a nice park within a short walk. No suburb offers that kind of convenience. Nor do most suburbs offer the diversity of population, experiences, or opportunity that most cities can offer.So what do we do to improve the lot of cities given these challenges?Here are my suggestions of policies we should consider:Regional land use planningZoning ordinances and planning codes that allow mixed use, high density communitiesUrban growth boundaries like Portland, OregonInclusive zoning like Montgomery County, MarylandChange public infrastructure investment strategy to promote redevelopment of old settlementsStrike a better balance between highway and mass transit fundingConsolidate and restore old industrial sites for redevelopmentReform local tax policies starting with the state taking a bigger share of funding for public educationIn the end, the struggle for our cities will depend on the outcome of the competition between suburbs and cities. The outcome will largely be determined by the extent to which that competition is a fair one.center_img By: Governor Tom Wolf Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

‘Fresh thinking in pensions’ leads to new worldwide analytics tool

first_imgFord Motor Company is now in a position to compare the value of the pension provision across its more than 120 schemes in 36 countries after working with investment consultant Redington to develop a new analytics and scoring system.According to Redington, a key aim for the multinational company was to use the tool to provide a consistent analysis of the “retirement readiness” of its employees.It said a new digital platform had been developed that provides visualisation of how assets and costs are distributed across countries and schemes, with millions of data points collated for each pension scheme.In addition, a pension scoring system has been created that awards a score out of 100 to each of Ford’s pension schemes based on up to seven underlying factors, including investment performance, costs and charges, contribution rates and retirement outcomes. Ford has been added to Redington’s ADA fintech platform – named after Ada Lovelace, born in 1815 and described by some as one of the earliest computer programmers – as part of the launch of the new tool.“This project was a great example of thinking differently in pensions”Oliver Payne, EMEA pensions manager at FordOliver Payne, EMEA pensions manager at Ford, said: “This project was a great example of thinking differently in pensions.“The ADA system means we can move away from our traditional approach of collating and analysing pensions data on an individual project basis. We now have consistent, reliable data available for each project which means we can now be more proactive in the way we look at the costs and value of pension plans around the world.”Adam Jones, chief technology officer at Redington, said: “We are hugely excited to continue our work with Oliver and the team to explore how we can further develop the tool, and ensure Ford remains on the front foot when it comes to pensions analytics.”last_img read more

Dilbert Barrett

first_imgDilbert Barrett, 89, of Versailles passed away at 2:20pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018 at his home. He was born at Booneville in Owsley County, Kentucky on January 31, 1929 the son of Levi and Dora Baker Barrett. He was married to Martha Feller on September 3, 1949 and his wife of 68 years survives. Other survivors include one son Timothy (Candy) Barrett of Versailles; one daughter Marlene Smith of Westport; 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; one brother James (BJ) Barrett of Booneville, Kentucky; one sister Louise Rice of Beattyville, Kentucky. He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Elaine Farrell, and his brothers Lee, Earl, Johnny, and Robert Barrett. Mr. Barrett retired in 1988 from Schenleys’ at Lawrenceburg where he worked as a blender for 31 years. Earlier in his career Dib worked at a veneer mill in Lawrenceburg, worked on the railroad, and also at Fisher Body. At home he was a farmer, raising tobacco, keeping bees, and producing a prize winning garden from seeds he’d saved the previous season. Retirement years also found him at McDonald’s in Versailles where he participated in the morning and afternoon “coffee clubs.” Dib was baptized at the Bear Creek Baptist Church in Friendship on October 15, 1967 and remained a faithful member until his passing. At church he served as a deacon from 1973 to present, and also served as Sunday school superintendent, assistant teacher, moderator, and as a trustee. He also participated in the Laughery Baptist Association Men’s Brotherhood and served on the association’s executive committee. He was also a member of the Hopewell Masonic Lodge at Dillsboro and in 1999 Dib was named a Kentucky Colonel. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 11am at the Bear Creek Baptist Church in Friendship with Rev. Sherman Hughes officiating. Burial will be in the Akers Friendship Cemetery. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 4pm to 7pm at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles and from 10am until time of services Wednesday at the church. The Hopewell Masonic Lodge will conduct services at 7pm Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Bear Creek Baptist Church or the Akers Friendship Cemetery in care of the funeral home.last_img read more

Arsenal fans descend on C.K Akonnor after he advised Thomas Partey not to join Gunners

first_imgFans of the North London club predictably took to social media to take on the Black Stars gaffer after he made those comments, asking why the Black Stars were chasing Gunners youngster Eddie Nketiah to represent Ghana, if Akonnor didn’t think Arsenal was good enough.Some went further to accuse C.K Akonnor, who once captained German Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg and the Black Stars, of jealousy.Others, however, commended the coach for his forthrightness on the matter.Take a look at some of the reactions below: Arsenal fans weren’t too happy with Black Stars head coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor’s advice to midfielder Thomas Partey not to move to the Premier League club.Speaking on Starr FM on Wednesday night, Akonnor suggested that staying at Atletico Madrid might be the best thing for Partey, as he would be guaranteed Champions League football, unlike at Arsenal.“Honestly, I wouldn’t want him to move to Arsenal because, with Atletico, he will always play Champions League football. His position is guaranteed and he will always play. With Arsenal, I’m not too sure,” Akonnor said.“I’m sure money issues will come in, but I hope that whatever he asks for, Atletico will be able to pay.”Akonnor, who knew that his comments would not go down well with Gunners fans, remarking: “Arsenal fans will kill me.”Thomas ParteyAnd that has indeed proven to be the case.Arsenal have been pursuing a deal for the Ghanaian midfielder since January.The English club are reluctant to pay Partey’s €50m release clause and recently had an offer of £23m plus Matteo Guendouzi rejected by Atletico.More from Citi Sportslast_img read more