Ersel Schuster Critiques Regional Economic Development Pact

From County Board candidate Ersel Schuster:

The area covered by the economic development plan.

The area covered by the economic development plan.

A recent press release from our McHenry County Board tells us about another grand scheme they’ve undertaken.

The new kid on the block, in their own words: “The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a regional plan connecting three Northern Illinois counties on key initiatives to attract and retain businesses, improve workforce and infrastructure and promote other economic development activities.”

In other words, our saviors have arrived.

If past experience with this county board holds true, “someone” on the board was convinced that this CEDS is another mechanism for grabbing more grant money, under the guise of retaining jobs and growing communities.

To wit, McHenry County has again jumped on board, looking at this “low hanging fruit (grants)”.

So, how does this work?  Using the CEDS as the example; one county board member is appointed to the CEDS board to “represent” the other 23 members.

Rarely, is there communication between this appointed person and the other 23 board members… other than a “sanitized” report or two assuring the 23 members that… “Great strides are being made by the CEDS.”

Folks, it is the “opinion” a county board member, speaking for the 23.  Most of the 23 will go along without asking questions.  In most cases, they do not even know what questions to ask!

Lets’ go to the heart of this press release.

They state that…

“The CEDS planning process aligned ongoing economic development work of local government, economic development organizations, workforce development groups, educational institutions and others, and connected those organizations for potential collaboration.”

Oh!  And, by the way:

“Private-sector representatives and members of the general public also participated in development of the plan.”

What a telling after thought!

For years I have made it a point of saying that it is not government, via all these “agencies,” that will resolve the issues of people and businesses running away from our state.  It is government and all these agencies causing the problem and put simply, they need to get out of the way.

The mass exodus from our state is caused by state, federal and local elected officials who heap one burden after another on the taxpayers and job creators.  Being blunt, they need to grow a collective spin and hit this head on by:

  1. Understanding and accepting the simple fact that bigger is not better;
  2. They’ve taxed us over the limit of commonsense;
  3. Rules and regulations must be scaled back to protect us without being unrealistic as is the current case;
  4. Come to grips with the fact that “grants” are taxes;
  5. Prioritize “government” out of the equation and put “job producers” at the head of the list as the “protected species;”
  6. Concentrate on making our communities places where business wants to migrate to rather than to escape from.

It is a rare community that is not struggling to provide the services they’ve committed to providing their constituents.  The problem is that most elected officials are stuck in the mindset of “grow or die.”  A novel and doable concept would be to… “put your eggs in one basket and tend to them.”

Ersel Schuster

Ersel Schuster

Rather than working so hard to make business out as the bad guys…

  • clean up your own house;
  • rid your government of services the community does not need; and
  • above all, do not change the rules once a business has committed to your community.

Divorce yourselves from the trap of thinking that “business” is a bottomless pit of money to fund every cockamamie scheme you dream up.  Understand that a business creates a product or service and ultimately the jobs your community needs.

Lastly, put out the welcome mat.  You will find that these businesses are the glue that builds cohesive communities.

Do these things and THEY WILL COME ON THEIR OWN… without taxpayer incentives!


Ersel Schuster Critiques Regional Economic Development Pact — 10 Comments

  1. To repeat:

    Buried in all units of government is the impact of federal ‘grants’.

    Government units have increasingly come to rely on federal grants. Ever ask yourself:

    “What is the impact of all of those grants?”

    Federal government employees per capita has gone down!

    State and local government employees per capita has gone up!

    No self-described economic development group will change the Illinois public pension guarantee in the Constitution!

    They will also NOT change the makeup of the Legislature in Springfield which must reduce / eliminate the burden of Prevailing Wage!

    We must change who runs the Legislature in Springfield!

  2. Ersel is a pain in the … to the rest of the county board members.

    One of her finest qualities.

  3. Ersel, you do thorough research and offer new ideas on this blog on a host of issues.

    I like your style, preparedness and willingness to share information with blog readers; but I am bewildered with your emphasis on research and preparation how Valley-Hi liquidity tax booty excaped your eyes all these years.

    If you simply missed it, that is forgiveable but I hope in the future Valley Hi serves as a lesson to all County Board Members that analysis of financials is essential before approving any budget of tax levy.

    If you do not understand how to do this, get help as we all cannot be experts on everything.

    A simple question which should always be asked prior to approval of any levy, is

    “how much cash does the taxing body have on hand”?

    This simple question on Valley Hi would have hopefully nipped the excess taxation years ago.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Regional approach to economic development is also the plan of our Governor.

    It is a viable tool of economic development.

    None of your talking points listed have anything to do with the Comprehensive Economic Development unit s proposed.

    But when the idea of eliminated unnecessary units of government- like TOWNSHIPS- you were up in arms.

    How about the solution being that you hold your colleague accountable for reporting information back instead of grandstanding about how they won’t work?

    The research you do is rarely worth the time it takes to respond.

  5. inish, like it or not we now have Townships.

    Any change like Consolidation or elimination will cause bigger gov agencies which always costs more.

    Only cutting services will save enough to see any real lowering of your real estate tax bill.

    The fact is nobody wants any service cuts.

    Change peoples attitudes with a real plan with facts and numbers, then we’ll listen.

  6. Ersel Shuster, a legend in her own mind.

    Innish, you’ve got it right.

    Her endless critisizing of everything and everyone, her tiresome, old fashioned analyses and constant need to hear her own voice really belong in the McHenry County historical archives along with township government.

  7. Too bad “Irish” and “Watcher” are so void of solutions.

    Just in case you’ve not figured it out… that is pretty much what is wrong with the country… top to bottom.

    Come on guys… be part of the solution!

  8. Rah, rah language, Ersel.

    It would mean something if it came from someone not on your ego trip…

    you just need to be in the limelight and have no concept of people working quietly to accomplish worthwhile goals.

  9. Watcher1940, what worthwhile goals have people been working on at all?
    Lots of whining and trying to make bigger more expensive gov, but not facts or numbers, just HOPE nonsense.
    Have a solution with some tax saving numbers backed by facts?
    Type them here, enlighten us!

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