By Thea Skinner
Triplicate staff writer
Economic catalyst Wayne Schell and Crescent City Council engaged in dialogue at a city council meeting to increase county-wide economic prosperity Monday.
"We always take an opportunity to talk to him. We take an opportunity to pick his brain," said county Supervisor Dave Finigan.
Schell returned to Del Norte county to encourage a policy team be formed that is "all for one and one for all," he said, referring to the need for partnerships and collaboration amongst city and county officials.
"If the city and county are not major players it is not going to come together," Schell said.
He said that both entities are acting as two jurisdictions running the same place.
He said that leadership is necessary to move Del Norte County forward, which will normally emerge from city, county and the chamber of commerce.
"We recommended a policy team with county board, superintendent of schools, workforce, RHS (Rural Human Services)," and others, he said. "We would like to see the private sector get involved."
He said that a strategic plan is necessary, even if the team is not ready to implement it for another year.
"We want to make sure that California communities are on the right track to economic development. There is a difference between that and community development," Schell said. "My experience is that if you do not stay with the community, things neanderthal."
Although the county has a number of people donating their time giving back to community efforts, "No business can be run on a volunteer basis ¬Ė it involves a lot of partnering," he said.
Schell suggested that officials visit a similar rural county as a framework for creating a strategy.
The county "contributed $200,000 every year since the 1960s to their economic development strategy," he said. "They got involved in stream clean-ups through the forest service" and other entities.
"They combined the chamber with the visitors bureau" and other groups and have a half-dozen golf courses, Schell said.
"They work with with Pacific Gas and Electric on fish restoration. Silt was going into the dam and they gave money to them to clean it out," he said.
He also recommended creating a business improvement district to better tourism.
Another community he worked with combined the money contribution of hotels. The end-result promoted the corridor near U.S. Hwy. 50 between Sacramento and El Dorado Hills and generated revenue.
Commissioner Mike Scavuzzo agreed with the suggestion and said that recipients of certain monies are restaurants and hotels and they should contribute funding into a tourism plan.