Open letter to Hillsborough County

Open the doors on Hillsborough economic developmentLet me go out on a limb here and question again, the taxpayers’ investment in the Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (THEDC).

Something like a half-million dollars go to THEDC each year, ostensibly to attract and preserve jobs in the county. This is on top of the (how much?) money spent yearly on city and county economic development staffs.

The THEDC performance measure ultimately depends on the numbers of jobs attributed to them. Their incentive is to report glowing numbers of new and saved jobs that they touched. Presumably, the more jobs touched, the more deserving they are of funding and yet more funding.

The THEDC’s rushed recommendation to gift PricewaterhouseCoopers $1.2 million of county taxpayer money to “save 1,622 jobs that would otherwise go to South Carolina, India, Singapore or Argentina” is pretty darned specific, given that PwC has now stated that they had no plans to move jobs and were in fact planning a new building in West Shore.

To have this failed process later characterized as a “miscommunication” is at least a gross understatement. At its very worst, is this a blatant attempt by certain staff members of THEDC and the county to collude in order to preserve their own jobs?

Along with the discussion as to whether or not to continue to fund PwC regardless of need, perhaps there also should be very serious discussion about justifying, for the taxpayer, the entire county economic development process and its relationship with the three incorporated cities.

Out in the Florida sunshineHillsborough County and perhaps this nation would be better served by more fully implementing the kind of job incentive program that has shown so much success, led here by Commissioner Murman:

Signing up potential employers now to deliver jobs in the future and then rewarding them after successful job delivery seems simple, cost effective and accomplished in the Sunshine.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

One Response to “Open letter to Hillsborough County”

  1. Marilyn Smith Says:

    Oh my heavens, are you questioning the statements made by Rhea Law and Ken Norden? Both are noted for making up what sounds good to sell to the BOCC.

    Most people do not know how and what is going on with our TAX DOLLARS. If you read the small print on the latest
    FLAGGED BUDGET ITEMS YOU WILL BE COME EVEN MORE
    UNHAPPY…TAMPA BAY AND COMPANY are being approved
    about te $250,000 FOR REPUBLICAN PARTY TO SITE VISIT AND ANOTHER NON DESCRIPTIVE INCENTIVE FOR $165,000 VARIOUS MEETING///this ala Mr. CATO.
    Almost 1/2 million in just 2 projects TAMPA BAY & CO. SHIPPPING LIST….These people have no shame

    to

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