Our View: Dovetailing economic development

April 16, 2007 11:00 pm

We're glad to see that two seemingly disparate efforts at in the county have dovetailed their work. On one front, business interests brought Australian economic consultant David Beurle here in late February to help local civic and government leaders develop an economic vision for the area. On another front, key government leaders brought California Association for Local Economic Development President Wayne Schell to town only two weeks later to help determine specific economic development opportunities for the county. Some mild sparring between the sides followed.

As we stated in a previous editorial, both efforts will prove beneficial for the county, but Schell's visit seemed somewhat premature. Before discussing specific opportunities, we need a vision of where we want the county to go.

Fortunately, the various parties behind both visits have since come together to ensure the benefits of Beurle's and Schell's efforts do not become competing efforts. During a meeting with The Daily Triplicate editorial board Monday, County Board Chairman David Finigan (who helped organize Schell's visit) and Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce President Chris Howard (who helped organize Beurle's visit) stated the two efforts won't be viewed as mutually exclusive. As Beurle's visits develop a vision for economic growth and fosters the leadership needed to see it to fruition, Schell's visits provide the specifics of how we might implement and fund that vision.

To that end, the same governing bodies, business organizations and civic groups are meeting with both Schell and Beurle when they return to town on April 25 and May 4-5 respectively.

And in a dramatic move, the City Council, County Board and Harbor Commission are meeting jointly during Schell's visit, in part to discuss how our economic development efforts could be restructured to make them more effective.

All of this bodes well for a county where unemployment is too high and incomes are too low. We applaud local leaders for finding ways to get their solid approaches and good intentions pointed in the same direction.