From County Board candidate Ersel Schuster:
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:
- Understanding and accepting the simple fact that bigger is not better;
- They’ve taxed us over the limit of commonsense;
- Rules and regulations must be scaled back to protect us without being unrealistic as is the current case;
- Come to grips with the fact that “grants” are taxes;
- Prioritize “government” out of the equation and put “job producers” at the head of the list as the “protected species;”
- 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.”
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!