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View from the Cordillera

A Commentary on Achieving Excellence in Local Government
Read by Municipal Leaders on 4 Continents
Published by the Cordillera Institute
VFC Catalog - Special Issues
Perspectives from Our 12th Anniversary (Vol. 1, Issue 19)
Each anniversary, we set aside some time to reflect on the events of the past year.  Since we had so many new readers in 2006, that perspective was extended.  In this issue, we revisit our beginnings, note the positive trends of these past 12 years on the journey to excellence in local government, and mark some of the milestones in our growth as an organization.  Then, we shift the perspective to see what the future journey may hold for local government – a journey whose course is being contested by 2 competing routes.  We take a peek at the plans for each route.  And, you will see what you can expect from each route – should it be the 1 that is chosen.
Perspectives from Our 13th Anniversary (Vol. 2, Issue 26)
Each anniversary, I set aside some time to reflect on the events of the past year.  In 2007, my attendance at a high-school reunion prompted me to extend that perspective considerably.  That experience took me back to a different time – the late 1950s and early 1960s.  What was the state of the world in 1962 – the year that we graduated?  What was the state of local government?  What did our high-school experience contribute?  In this issue, we revisit that era to see how it influenced the future of local government and the future of this observer.  What lessons from that time can we apply to our situation today?  How might world affairs affect local government?  What can be done on the home front?  Assuming that our nations survive, what is the future of local government?  With the on-going struggle of 2 competing visions, which future will you choose?
Lest We Forget ... 2007 (Vol. 2, Issue 44)
On this 89th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I, we remember those who offered their lives for their countries.  For far too many, fate took them up on their offer.  Our family was fortunate.  Of the dozen who served in World War I, World War II, or the Korean War, all but 1 came home.  Teddy, the cousin who is buried in France, was part of a Royal Canadian Air Force crew shot down returning from a mission over occupied Europe during WWII.  (Another cousin, Pat, was killed during the Cold War when the U.S. Navy jet he was flying crashed shortly after takeoff from the naval base at Norfolk.)  Other families paid a much higher price.  Our hats are off to all those whose service in our armed forces preserved the legacies that they inherited from the generations before them.  In this issue, we examine what has happened to their legacy – the legacy that their bravery and their sacrifice preserved to pass on to us.  Tragically, important elements of what our people in uniform did so much to protect in foreign wars have been lost here at home during peacetime.  We should never forget those parts of their legacy which have been lost.  In this issue, we examine how they were lost, who has gained from their loss, how their agenda is being advanced, why it hasn't been stopped as yet, and how to halt its advances.  And, so that the sacrifices of our veterans will not have been in vain, we see how we can do our part here on the home front to recover what has been lost.
Perspectives from Our 14th Anniversary (Vol. 3, Issue 26)
This year marks the 14th anniversary of our Institute.  At this point each year, I set aside some time to reflect on the events of the past year.  With that perspective, we can then prepare for the year ahead.  This process is framed by 3 questions.  How far have we come on our journey to excellence in local government?  Where are we making progress?  Where do we need to increase our efforts in the year ahead?  In this issue, we answer those questions, paying particular attention to forced mergers, accountability, as well as operational and organizational improvements.  We also look at what has become a top priority for many local governments – environmental improvement.
Lest We Forget ... 2008 (Vol. 3, Issue 34)
On this 90th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I, we remember those who offered – and are offering today on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan – their lives for our countries.  For far too many, fate took them up on their offer.  Our hats are off to all those whose service in our armed forces preserved the legacies that they inherited from the generations before them.  As we do each year, we examine what has happened to their legacy – the legacy that their bravery and their sacrifice preserved to pass on to us.  Tragically, important elements of what they did so much to protect in foreign wars have been lost here at home during peacetime.  In this issue, we examine how they were lost and who has gained from their loss.  In the next issue, we'll be discussing how to prevent further losses on the home front and how to recover what has been lost.  But, there is something very important that we can do now.  We can remember the ultimate sacrifices that so many of our veterans gave.  And, we can show our appreciation to all those courageous individuals who are still with us.
Winning the Struggle on the Home Front (Vol. 3, Issue 35)
As we noted in Issue 03.34, important elements of what our brave veterans did so much to protect in foreign wars have been lost here at home during peacetime.  We examined how those elements were lost and who has gained from our loss.  In this commentary, we see how those who operate from the paradigm of government first advance their agenda and what challenge they face.  Then, we examine why it hasn't been stopped as yet, what are its next likely targets, and how to halt its advances.  And, so that the sacrifices of our veterans will not have been in vain, we see how – in each of our communities – we can do our part to recover what has been lost.
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