Is EDP falling on sword of its own creation?

Published 8:43 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dear Editor,

“Never miss an opportunity to take advantage of a good crisis,” even if created in part by ourselves. A lesson in deflection while confusing activity with productivity?

In December, the EDP chairman wrote an op-ed looking back at economic development in 2017. Between the lines were nuggets of gold that exposed a problem within our EDP. Coupled with recent articles by The Advocate-Messenger a picture comes into focus.

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Observe accomplishments (paraphrased) as highlighted by the chairman;

• Invested (spent) $80,000 in creation of strategic plan.

Committed $80,000 to hire chief operations officer.

Replaced “City of First” with “Historically Bold.”

Benefited from new P&Z director.

Reorganized new board with more parity, (which Boyle County Industrial Foundation fought all the way). Toxic Turf War?

Continuing work on bringing new projects to community.

Isn’t the last point the “only point” that defines productivity? Isn’t the rest activity? Furthermore, weren’t goals as defined by the chairman generalities sounding more like the Christmas Wish List of every community? Perhaps, there’s reason. Specificity and dating goals requires accountability by leadership where success can be measured.

When aiming for goals isn’t specificity required to see the target and avoid generalities? If industry creates wealth and businesses circulate it, isn’t productivity defined by new industry and jobs? How many new industries/jobs, how soon? Approximately four million invested over 13 years. What’s our return?

Now success is defined hitting a $30,000 goal in “pledges” from businesses (including out of town construction companies) to pay salaries. Activity or productivity? Busy, but productive? Has our EDP become our community’s favorite charity and fund raiser now shaking down out of town businesses to pay salaries by purchasing what the EDP president calls “access and influence?”

Considering EDP president still works for the Boyle County Industrial Foundation, city/county governments having invested thousands in building BCIF infrastructure, and the EDP vice-president feeling the need to clear communication with BCIF chairman, isn’t this the ultimate example of crony capitalism?

Now we’ve “branded” ourselves through Kinder-Morgan pipeline as a community possibly dangerous for industry, allowing EDP president excuses for lack of productivity. Perhaps “Chicken Little” and Chief Excuse Maker is a more appropriate title? Interesting, we don’t hear such excuses from Marion County who also have the pipeline. They just keep on being productive. “Historically Bold?” Really?

Is there really a “dangling sword of Damocles,” or are we falling on one of “Chicken Little’s” own creation?  

Randy Gip Graham