(Posted March 10,
Columbia County - destined for more incompetence in
On March 9, 2011 you concluded with the following:
Depending on Jax Port to make Columbia County's
Inland Port a success is nothing but a pipe dream. The
dredging of the St. Johns River, because of both
economic conditions and ecological concerns will most
likely never happen.
Gov. Scott has rightly committed both money and
resources to the Port of Miami.
From Miami to Savanna professional and experienced
economic development teams have been operating for
decades. The Port of Miami and the Port Authority of
Georgia, along with Cecil Field and Jax Port to the east
has sealed the fate of Columbia County's Inland Port,
making it just another
Ellisville Boondoggle to come.
Any person presently living in Columbia County, who
has ever lived anyplace in the United States and who has
been part of starting or growing a business, has a grasp
of what economic development is.
Unfortunately, it would appear that everyone involved
with any aspect of Columbia County Economic Development
during the past eighteen plus years is clueless as to
how to successfully implement an economic
development marketing or business plan.
Columbia County has a group of people born, raised
and educated in or near Columbia County. They have zero
experience in implementing sound business decisions
pertaining to economic development. They may
have wonderful visions of future business growth, but
lack the ability and experience to implement them. They
obviously have never researched or studied successful
economic development initiatives, inclusive of marketing
or business plans in other parts of the country.
Instead, they gathered local home-grown business
people and formed a committee named the Rudder Team.
This group led to the subsequent hiring of Fairfield
Index. What they received from Fairfield Index was a
$60,000 boiler plate document funded by tax payer
dollars, because the IDA Executive Director, after over
eighteen years of being on the job, did not or could not
develop a plan and implement it himself.
Economic Development in Columbia County took a step
backwards with the recent formation of the new IDA or
EDA Committee. This economic development committee is
giving tax-payers a Wearing blender filled with eighteen
years of procedural rhetoric, but still no sound
In the past two years, Columbia County has wasted
approximately $380,000. The IDA salaries
(approximate) for two years plus the cost of the
Fairfield Index power point, all spent in a down turned
economy. The two person IDA staff has and is moving on -
a good thing in curtailing poor management practices.
It is my understanding that the current IDA Executive
Director, who has been dysfunctional for over eighteen
years, will be involved in the hiring of his
Does this mean Columbia County tax-payers are
destined for more incompetence in Economic Development?