Friday, October 12, 2007

Working Together for Our Community

“It’s all about partnerships. … None of us can do it on our own,” said Debi Durham, president of The Siouxland Initiative, an Iowa economic development corporation; president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce; and president of the Siouxland Chamber Foundation. Durham was in Fayetteville yesterday to conduct an economic development training session for Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody and about a dozen others who were invited to attend.

Durham told the group that 80% of growth "comes from within," and that community and economic development essentially is "all about understanding who you are. It’s all about relationships. It’s all about building a trust factor... It’s just constant communication.” That must have come as a real shock to the Fayetteville Economic Development Council that operates in secret, issues "strategic deceptions" to mislead the media, and appears to spend most of its time chasing foreign corporations.

In what also must have been news to the local Chamber of Cowbirds, Durham also advised that economic development is not just about infrastructure issues (such as corporate subsidies for water and sewer rates or building a new high school to facilitate sprawl) but was about "about having a great place where people want to live." She also let slip the secret that the Souix City Chamber of Commerce knows that community and economic success is due to the teamwork of local governments partnering with each other, local unions, and public schools, not just businesses, and that they don't try to take all the credit. I bet Ray Boudreaux and Bill Ramsey nearly fell out of their comfortable chairs when they heard that heresy.

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