By: Diane Benjamin
What does the Economic Development Council do?
Here’s their website: https://www.bnbiz.org/
They have dinners and lunches, organize the One Voice trips to DC to beg for federal funds, and soak up a lot of money from both Bloomington and Normal.
Last year McLean County budgeted $100,000 for the EDC. For 2018 they dropped it to $94,000. (PDF page 58: http://www.mcleancountyil.gov/documentcenter/view/10640 )
What does the County get for that money?
Woodford County is dropping their membership in economic development groups: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/woodford-county-dropping-membership-in-economic-development-groups/article_5ca02933-c093-5916-87b4-d68cf5891b78.html
When the vast majority of the money given to agencies like the EDC go for salaries, what benefit do they provide? Anyone with a thinking brain knows economic development doesn’t happen because of government. Economic Development happens where government isn’t in the way. That is why growth is happening in Right to Work and low tax states.*
The Logan County Board is going to be asked to de-fund economic development. The citizens are requesting it, not the majority of the County Board. A petition is circulating that will be presented to the board asking payments be eliminated. The citizens know any benefits received aren’t valuable when compared to the cost.
McLean County could save $94,000 next year by de-funding the EDC. Instead of an expensive trip to DC, how about meeting with the area reps in their local offices!
The days of having money to throw around to unaccountable agencies is over. McLean County needs to follow Woodford County’s lead.
I’d ask Normal and Bloomington to de-fund them too, but common sense isn’t used at either to make decisions.
* Research is available saying both salaries are lower in Right to Work states and that it’s a myth. Imagine the change in Illinois if Public Sector Unions couldn’t buy the people who give them raises!