Emma is my hero today. She wrote a good post about the development of Erie and how the city and county council members could learn a thing or two from smaller cities like Burlington. I posted the world's longest comment giving my two cents. Long story short, I think Erie should consider two things, if they want to listen to me. Emma's post provided the impetus to put my possibly grandiose ideas down on paper (or I guess cyberspace).
First, because Erie has a huge manufacturing workforce that has been laid off, consider drawing in companies who are interesting in building alternative energy sources (like wind power, solar power, etc.) and environmentally friendly materials. I realize Pennsylvania is supposedly an expensive place to manufacture goods but why not invest in a beautiful region and set an example of making a Rust Belt City into an Ecologically and Environmentally Friendly City.
Second, Presque Isle is freakin' gorgeous. Lake Erie is an enormous asset. Now that GAF is leaving, let's look ahead and make plans to beautify the waterfront. Burlington's waterfront used to be an eyesore before the city and state made a concerted effort to redevelop it with a boathouse, restaurants, a fabulous bike path, a theatre, and many other assets. For more information about the Burlington Waterfront, check it out here.
I don't know if it is the coffee or what but I was completely giddy when I saw "Burlington, Vermont" on my Google reader. Must. Get. A. Life.