Bad as was Tesei's committing the town to a PR campaign that extolls the virtues of Greenwich to the general public, give him this: he "only" committed $30,000 to the effort (those of you who just paid that much in property taxes last month may not find this a great use of your money, but hey ...). One of our Democrat BET members is advocating hiring a full-time employee to dress up the town.
Tony Turner, a Democratic member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, has joined Democratic Selectman Sandy Litvack in proposing that the town hire an economic development officer. Litvack has questioned the effectiveness of an ongoing public/private marketing campaign called Think Greenwich and the work of the town’s volunteer Economic Advisory Committee, which are touted by First Selectman Peter Tesei, a Republican.
“A public relations campaign is not the answer,” Litvack said last week. “What is needed is a professional, experienced in economic development who will be able to analyze the landscape, create a plan to attract and retain businesses and lead the way.”
That is the same position that Turner has taken as chair of the BET’s Human Resources Committee.
“It became apparent to me that an economic development officer is needed for a variety of reasons, with the more important ones being business retention and better information for the Plan of Conservation and Development process,” Turner said. “Are we truly planning for economic development? I find little evidence of it.”
An economic development officer would work proactively with businesses and nonprofits to identify strategies for economic development, he said. Turner said he would want this to go hand-in-hand with the work every 10 years on the town’s POCD. He envisioned this position would lead an overall effort that included existing town employees and volunteers from the town’s public and private sectors.
According to a job description Turner had drawn up, the position would, “(Provide) leadership through broad community involvement which promotes the economic well-being of the community while understanding that a social and environmentally healthy community is vital to the local economy.”
Turner said he did not see economic development as a political issue. He said that the need for the position stands on its own and said the expense would pay for itself as the local economy grew.
In the entire history of liberalism, has there ever been a advocated program that didn't promise to "pay for itself', and has there ever been one that accomplished that? Personally, I think we should thank Mr. Turner for his recommendation that we enlist town employees and non-profit organizations to make Greenwich more attractive to business, then send him home with a lollipop and a cuddly stuffed puppy.
With our thanks for his service, of course.