Open letter to Hillsborough County
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.
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