Saturday, October 25, 2008

Economies of scale

I've received numerous clarifications from a variety of folks regarding the joint economic task force that point out that Athens-Clarke County District Five Commissioner David Lynn was either misrepresenting the nature of the proposal or didn't accurately comprehend what it would be.

The best one comes from a comment by Brian, so I've posted it here ...

Commissioner Lynn is not correct in this regard. The initial recommendation to establish this organization -- which has been explained to each commissioner in both counties -- is for the counties to first commit their existing resources to the effort. This is approximately $220,000 for each county which yields an equal split with equal representation; the private sector would be responsible for an additional $220,000 which is not currently being raised or utilized.

As currently envisioned, once the board is set up, it would drive the policy forward and develop future funding strategies. Many other regional economic development organizations do use a per capita method, but it is by no means set in stone.

As someone who served on the committee, I can state unequivocally that the initial recommendation is absolutely equal funding=equal representation from Clarke and Oconee.

The report notes that future growth, as Brian points out, is something that is dependent on the success of the two-county partnership and the private sector fundraising efforts. Likewise, there is no discussion of what the representation would be for each county in moving forward ...

This model also welcomes the addition of other counties. The task force believes that with some successes and greater appreciation for economies of scale, neighboring counties will want to join the effort. At this point, funding at a per capita basis per county and possibly a dedicated percentage of millage would provide a steady, long-term avenue for funding in addition to a strong multi-year, private sector fund-raising effort, similar to the Hallmark Campaign in Hall County. Phase I development will determine the appetite toward moving to this phase.


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