Register viewpoint: Let's get it -- together

Friday a group of local leaders proposed a new way of building jobs in Erie County. New to us, anyhow. There are countless ex
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


Friday a group of local leaders proposed a new way of building jobs in Erie County. New to us, anyhow.

There are countless examples of communities that are growing jobs in our region -- look to Clyde, Bellevue and all of Huron County. Consider what is getting done well in Canton or Findlay.

Each has a different approach, a unique approach but all with a common thread: They have forged a strong effort by uniting forces. They have acted on what we only seem to acknowledge, that a job anywhere in this county benefits everyone.

Virtually every story we have of successful job growth comes from a determined vision and the willingness to put aside parochial interests to build the region.

For too long there has been the intent to cooperate in our area but not much to show from it. A proposal being presented to the City of Sandusky, Erie County and Greater Erie Marketing will ask each to combine development forces.

The concept is simple: Put all our existing -- and sometime competing -- resources into one place. Have them work together daily on projects, ideas and prospects. Have them be the nucleus of a team that can and should grow to include all area political bodies in regular workshops on development and planning.

Further, challenge them to explore the organization and structures that help other areas attract new businesses.

Do we need different taxing structure? Would the ability to issue bonds make a difference? Should we start focusing on other, emerging technologies? It is hard to know the exact right answers -- but we do know that by putting all hands on the same job we have a greater chance of finding ones that work.

The hurdle is going to be getting each of these organizations, their elected officials and administrative staff on board. It is not hard to envision the first reaction from each to be: "Fine, as long as WE are in control."

We challenge them instead to say, "O.K., let's find a way to make it work. We have to."

We have spent too long talking. It is time for action. If you agree, take some yourself by calling or writing your officials now. Tell them you want them to work together because you want to work.

Editor's note: The publisher of the Sandusky Register is a member of this editorial board and was involved in creating the proposal discussed here.