Today is Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Power of 10 Summit held

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By KALYN SHELLYThe Wilson Post  Mayors, public officials and others interested in how 10 Middle Tennessee counties are going to deal with issues impacted by future growth participated in a special Summit yesterday in Nashville.  Several from Lebanon and Wilson County attended the event including Mayor Philip Craighead, City of Lebanon Planner Maggie Tilton and others.  The Power of 10 Summit was hosted by Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization comprised of community leaders from Davidson County and the nine counties adjacent to Nashville. The Power of 10 title represents the 10 participating counties.  The four-hour Summit was highlighted by a number of presentations by local, state and federal officials on how best the region might deal with growth issues facing the area today as well as 30 or so years into the future.  The general theme at the conference was centered on the topic "regionalism."  Those attending were urged to take a message back to their home communities that working in a "collaborative spirit" can and will make a difference as to how the 10 county region deals with growth.  Much of the material in the presentations dealt with mass transit concerns.  Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced three major policy initiatives endorsed by the Summit in an effort to recognize and help manage mass transit concerns.  The three initiatives included first a bold new vision for mass transportation that in the future would include light rail access to and from Nashville and other Middle Tennessee counties, possibly electric street cars, additional commuter rail service and extended bus transportation; second, the support of what he described as active transportation alternatives such as walking, biking and other personal modes of transportation that reduce crowded thoroughfares and also offer amenities for better health; and last, making existing roadways better and safer with a number of enhancements and improvements.  More than 500 attended the conference. Among the speakers besides Dean were Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, State Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Metropolitan Planning Organization Director Michael Skipper, Middle Tennessee Transit Authority Director Ed Cole, and Nashville attorney Charles Bone, who also served as emcee of the event.  Mayor Dean and Sam Hatcher, of The Wilson Post, were presented awards by Cumberland Region Tomorrow for their efforts in promoting regionalism.Staff Writer Kalyn Shelly may be contacted at kalyn@wilsonpost.com.
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