Director of regional group: Northwest Indiana communities must start working together
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 14, 2012 6:08PM
Updated: January 16, 2013 6:08AM
Northwest Indiana communities must begin to work together regionally to elevate the quality of life in the entire region.
Dennis Rittenmeyer, executive director of One Region, One Vision on Friday told the Lake County Advancement Committee that politicians and cities need to put their differences aside and come together to make the types of changes needed in Northwest Indiana.
Rittenmeyer cited the final disbandment of the Regional Bus Authority as an example of how local officials and communities are unable to come together for the betterment of the region as a whole.
“We are not closer to consolidated transportation in Northwest Indiana than we were years ago,” Rittenmeyer said.
Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties are one of the only major regions in the country that does not have a regional transportation service and now, years after the effort first began, it is no closer to being a reality, he said.
He cited the Major Crimes Task Force as an example of a regional partnership that works, but said the only problem is communities do not call in the task force in when a major crime occurs opting instead to handle it on their own.
“We have issues in Northwest Indiana no doubt. … How are we attacking those issues?” Rittenmeyer said.
The goal of One Region, One Vision is to help facilitate cooperation by identifying areas of improvement and bringing officials and communities together to find solutions.
Rittenmeyer said the first issue they will begin to work on in earnest in 2013 is health. He said the organization would like to have some type of public forum to get the discussion going sometime in the first quarter.