Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Forgotten But Not Yet Gone

The Northwest Arkansas Times, being a dues paying member of both the Chamber of Cowbirds and the Fayetteville Economic Development Council, might have certain conflicts of interest that prevent it from objectively writing about local events, but it does give them an insider's advantage in knowing what's happening with those organizations. Today they telegraphed the certain coming demise of the FEDC, just as certainly as the co-opted Orville Henry and Wally Hall were the heralds for change when a coach fell from Frank's grace.

The editorial begins by mentioning that the FEDC - the privately funded organization created after city leaders lost faith in the Cowbirds in an attempt to meld the job-growth strategies of city government, private businesses and the University of Arkansas - will be moving into the Chamber of Commerce office. It didn't work out, and now the editors "sense a weariness with the divided efforts at a united front, particularly among those private businesses involved in funding. But primary among their concerns is less about structure and more about results." Charitably, they admit, "The results of local economic development efforts are perceived as rather lukewarm." Even the over-paid Eva Klein was not impressed.

In the newspaper's opinion, "what Fayetteville needs is a matching up of all the talk with action and motivation. ...This isn't the time to be expecting miracles - not with the economy ailing. If miracles were in short supply for Fayetteville during the decade's economic boom times, there's no reason to expect more luck now. ...A renewed and re-energized economic development effort is an absolute necessity for the best future for Fayetteville"

Be looking for the FEDC to quietly dissolve and disappear within six months.

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