ROBERT Keller, former head of the Greater...

Salmagundi

July 22, 1993

ROBERT Keller, former head of the Greater --------- Committee (and, before that, metropolitan editor of this newspaper), has moved to ------- as president of ------- Renaissance Inc., an organization that, like the G-C, promotes economic development.

And he's already making noises. Fill in the blanks in this report from the Detroit News:

Metro ------- needs a clear vision for the future, regional cooperation and a more positive self-image to attract more businesses and jobs, said the new president of ------- Renaissance Inc.

"What I see in this community -- clearly in the city of ------- -- is a woeful, frightening, dangerous lack of vision," said Robert Keller, former head of Baltimore's economic development.

Speaking to area business owners and executives Tuesday at the Greater ------- Chamber of Commerce, Keller said ------- has the potential to be "the first city of the 21st century."

But local business owners and residents must stop focusing on history. "If I hear one more time, 'Well, before the riots, ------- was . . .' The riots were a horrible thing -- a scar on this community, but they were also 25 years ago," Keller said.

"What we need to do is to hold a burial ceremony for the ugly past of this community. Having buried it, grieved for a while, let's move forward."

Regional cooperation is also crucial, he said. "We have scratching and clawing matches going on, led by our elected officials, and we are arguing about what should go on between the regions at a time when Japan and Europe are eating our lunch -- that's pretty stupid . . . We've got to stop making ------- a beggar's city for this region."

Candidates to succeed Mr. Keller in ---------, take note. We've got to move forward, put the past behind us, stop dwelling on the riots, achieve regional cooperation, become the first city of the 21st century -- or at least the first city to use that as a motto.

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