We need an Economic Development function like a fish needs a bicycle!
And now, Here’s Peter…
Hiring a new Cowichan economic development manager has been parked while regional directors attend a workshop to mull what that manager — hired or contracted — would do, and how it would grow the Warm Land’s job and tax base.
Cowichan Valley Regional District directors moved and seconded the resolution that discussion on Economic Development Function 121 be referred to a workshop, then brought back to a future Regional Services Committee meeting.
The CVRD’s financial statement shows Millar earned $88,413 that year, and $112,000 in 2013.
His job performance was not based on results — as the board did not have results indicators — and he could not cite any specific businesses he brought to Cowichan after running Economic Development Cowichan — currently with a budget reduced to about $528,000 annually — for more than a decade.
That poor showing is outlined in 2015 in consultant Jerry Berry’s $45,500 report about CVRD’s dysfunctional economic-development department.
Berry’s blunt report followed an *award-winning story by the News Leader Pictorial questioning if EDC is good bang valley taxpayers’ bucks.
Youbou/Meade Creek Director Klaus Kuhn said he was “troubled” by the idea of simply hiring a new EDC manager.
Kuhn said Berry’s report suggests hiring a manager from outside the CVRD.
He explained the CVRD has “a clean slate” to revamp the CVRD function and ask “where do we go from here?”
Duncan Director Sharon Jackson basically saw the past EDC model as “a 15-year albatross around our necks.”
”Ladysmith Director Aaron Stone agreed, noting the CVRD should hire “a coordinator with an entrepreneurial attitude.”
“I see a less-entrenched model (to provide better resources for the taxpayer dollar).”
North Cowichan Director Kate Marsh noted the EDC isn’t stimulating the local economy “so we need to hire an expert … to help us capitalize on our area.”Marsh added CVRD staff says “they don’t have time to do economic development.”
The board passed Cowichan Station-Sahtlam-Glenora Director Alison Nicholson’s motion to stage a workshop to discuss EDC options.
It also moved and seconded that the CVRD chairman and Corporate Secretary be authorized to sign a three-year (renewal) lease, starting Feb. 15, for the Economic Development Division located at Community Futures Cowichan, 135 Third Street, Duncan.