Monday, October 23, 2006

Did they call the awards the Porkies?

From the Register:

West Des Moines officials and community members unveiled the glitz and glamour of an Oscar-style award show for their presentation to the Iowa "Great Places" advisory committee this morning.

Valley Junction is one of 12 finalists for the state's program. The program helps cities use state resources to accomplish renovation and economic redevelopment proposals.

Members of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, as well as residents, business owners and city officials, presented awards based on the plans for the historic district.

Each idea for a project or improvement for Valley Junction was formatted into an award for one of the "Great Places" programs initiatives that was then presented to a community member.

I wonder what was in the "gift bags" they gave out to the audience.

This is exactly what's wrong with the state's current economic development strategy. Twelve communities compete, and presumably spend public funds to do so. At the end of the day, nine of them get to eat their losses, while three get to call themselves Porky award winners "Great Places." The thousands of remaining communities in Iowa will see no benefit, but will nonetheless get to pay the bill.

So, to sum up:


Three cities declared "Great Places."


Nine cities that spent public funds applying to be a "Great Place" but come away with nothing, and thousands of other Iowa cities that paid the taxes to make this contest possible, but didn't even get to compete.

That doesn't seem like a winning proposition to me.


Joe said...

Winner: my kid. His Valley High jazz combo provided the entertainment. Sure he didn't get paid, but he got out of first period class, and that counts for something. Taxpayer-financed hookey, YEAH!

Anonymous said...

Is there room for an out-in-the-open coalition for Republicans and Democrats who completely agree with this analysis? These sentiments cross party lines.

How about Economic Development for Everyone? ED funds are dispersed on a per capita basis to counties and municipalities to spend however they choose instead of a drawn out grant application process (aka lottery/patronage) wherein money is pooled and handed out to select communities for silly sky bridges or failing imax theaters/museums. Or maybe, the funds are never collected at all, just left in the community to work on their own.... The entire Department of ED could be replaced with a slightly sophisticated calculator. Who's with me?

The Real Sporer said...

Are you my demented evil liberal twin?

This story makes me want to puke. That's as bad as engaging out of state artists to paint over the grafitti in the most sinful tunnel in Iowa.

Dept. of economic development???? Isn't the governor supposed to be that, first and foremost?????

When will politicians learn an immutable lesson of history. Long term prosperity only follows a long term beneficial environment for the types of business the given polity desires.

The more tinkering, the more chimerical and temporary the beneficial effects of government interference.