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
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.