Flaws fill local effort

Though filled with good intentions, the idea of a Local Development Corporation is just one more bad idea that small municipalities and their officials try to push to make it seem as though they are actually attempting to spur economic activity.

Last month, Brocton heard about this proposal from Mayor Richard Frost. “This is something we can do to help the community along,” he said.

Not really.

All it does is add one more layer of authority to an already failing government. Locally, development corporations have had troubles in the past on resources alone.

One solid indication of how poorly these entities can be is right in the city of Dunkirk. In recent months, the struggling Dunkirk Local Development Corp. has rarely met, could not keep track of cash and threw hundreds of thousands of dollars at some ventures that never had a chance. It also had little power to get businesses to pay back loans.

Does that option sound like something that will turn Brocton – or any municipality – around?

Our largest economic development entity, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, barely has enough resources to grow our economy with a paid staff. How can area governments, which keep raising the costs for their residents, even think volunteer efforts – with very few dollars – will turn economic fortunes around in small communities?

Watching the bottom lines – in terms of taxes and fees – would be a much better start.