Saturday, May 30, 2009
WAYNE COUNTY GETS IT ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; STARK DOESN'T?
Since 1991 Wayne County has had an Economic Development Council. Here is a link to the Council website.
Stark County? Nada.
Stark County commissioners Tom Harmon and Pete Ferguson are comatose when it comes to economic development. Ferguson did a few meeting ago bring up (the SCPR believes "on the spur of the moment") the idea of converting the closed Doctors Hospital (Perry Township) into a Veterans treatment center. He alluded to his contacts with the U.S. Defense Department which the SCPR is highly skeptical of.
Commissioner Todd Bosley is working on a promising project in biomass with Chevron Energy Solutions to supplement fueling of Stark County jail boilers. But it is primarily a energy savings project and does very little if anything in terms of creating jobs for Stark Countians. Moveover, he has tried to interest Volkswagen and Fiat to come to Stark.
Even if (and it is A BIG IF) the commissioners (collectively or individually) are looking into job creating opportunities for Stark, are they doing it effectively.
Obviously, the answer is no.
Stark needs to send emissaries to Wayne to find out what Wayne County has done, how their efforts are working and what mistakes have they made that Stark can learn from.
Stark County needs its own economic development council and needs it now!
Moreover, Stark County should be looking at North Canton Council president Daryl Revoldt to lead the effort. He has economic development experience galore both from the private sector standpoint and from a government perspective.
Indeed Wayne County has a "leg up" on Stark. For citizens who care about Stark County and its 11.5% current unemployment rate, they should be knocking down the commissioners' doors demanding the creation of a Stark County Economic Development Council.
The SCPR will continue hammering away at the commissioners to get rolling on Stark's organized effort.
And you should too!