John reported to Michael that Cook County will not do BR&E in next year or so. They are to work on another initiative first. John is not convinced that they couldn't have gotten a BR&E launched. OTH, he has a good lead with St. Louis County for a possible BR&E there, if they can identify a community that would like to jump in somewhere in that county.
Hans, Michael and John met today. Hans found interest in a Cook County BR&E among several stakeholders in his October and November, 2011 visits there while wearing his hat as the MIRC Community Liaison. In fact, the Grand Marais EDA invited us for a presentation on Nov. 8th, but that didn't work for John (the "educator of record") as he bears down on his promotion prep. Now, they are seeing if a Dec. 12/13th timeframe would work for presentations to the EDA as well as the county board and city council. Those would work for John, who will be doing a tourism workshop there on Dec. 14/15 with Lori Rothstein.
There are factions and issues in Cook County that would make a BR&E daunting. See Neil Linscheid's report for the UMC EDA Center in 2010. It is the consensus of Hans, John and Michael that the relationships, anomosities ("bygones"), and key aspirations of key stakeholders would need to be considered and dealt with in a carefully planned meeting before a successful BR&E could occur. But we are hopeful that this prework will happen, with our help. Then John would be poised to consult Cook County on a great BR&E