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Letter: Concerns regarding economic development

Posted: November 15, 2018 2:41 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2018 1:00 a.m.

I would like to expand upon my remarks at our last meeting about my significant concerns about the failure of our economic development efforts.

I believe one of the main reasons that economic development has come off the rails in our county is a lack of monitoring and oversight by this county council. All we are getting is the same propaganda the community is getting. We deserve more and should demand more.

Another problem is that we have no metrics to assess where we are in terms of economic development and our local economy in general. Without legitimate and consistently monitored data, we are simply shooting in the dark.

To address the need of more oversight and the lack of metrics, I would propose the following, which I hope council will support:

First, we should convene a group of local business people through the chamber, and economic experts from the Santee-Lynches Council of Governments (COG), to identify a list of what I would call “dashboard indicators.” Such indicators would give us an ongoing view of the condition of our local economy and of the effectiveness of our economic development efforts. It would be especially appropriate to involve the COG because the COG was so very instrumental in the development of our Vision 2030 plan.

Second, once these indicators are developed and adopted by council, council would receive a quarterly report on them at a regular meeting. Further, these indicators would be posted on the county website. This data would be used to make the necessary adjustments and to make plans for the future.

I sincerely believe that this approach would result in both increased effectiveness of our economic development efforts and stronger public transparency and accountability.

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