Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coolidge on the vagaries of "Economic Development in Sarasota

Belatedly noted: This article by MC Coolidge in Creative Loafing, entitled Face Reality - (for more context, see here):
We’re so gaga over the idea of attracting film and entertainment business to the area that several City Commissioners (in the name of “economic development”) were in favor of leasing the much-used (and not-a-dime-subsidized) Sarasota Municipal Auditorium to Ringling College for soundstage use for a measly $1 a year. Thankfully, for once, the audacity inherent in the request, coming as it did from a college well-known for being so well-endowed it would make Jenna Jameson blush, riled up taxpayers enough to squelch the idea.
Of course, that deal would have been small potatoes compared to the heaps of taxpayer dollars Sarasota leaders have already spent pursuing “economic development” crushes that haven’t returned the sentiment. Do I need to remind readers about the roughly $5 million our city and county commissioners spent in pursuit of the Red Sox — for a “deal” that was never anywhere near real?
If government is going to be involved in and spend money on economic development for businesses (which I’m not at all sure it should be doing anyway), then I’d prefer them to focus on finding ways to develop and enhance the businesses that are already here — right down to the truly small businesses and including the many creative-type sole proprietors (of which I am one) who support those businesses — and to support new businesses that are committed to coming here and staying here without being paid off to do so.

No comments: