What about the $1 million in the bank?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2009

The fly balls you don’t see coming sometimes sting the worst.

Members of the Adams County Board of Supervisors came out of left field on Tuesday when they announced plans to pull the plug on funding the city-county economic development authority.

Doing so requires the county to break the contract it has entered into with the City of Natchez. Beyond their quick decision to break that trust, the issue is worrisome on several levels.

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Professionals, unaffected by the personal motivations and influences that come with elected offices, are the best options for handling the intricacies of economic development work.

The absolute last thing Adams County needs is to give up on a serious, ongoing economic development effort.

For the supervisors — or at least some of them — to simply say, effectively, “We can handle economic development,” is a ludicrous notion.

Left to their own devices, we would not have a new prison nor would the county have received more than $1 million and land as a result of the Rentech purchase of the former International Paper land.

That’s a pretty good track record in our book, certainly not worthy of an outright abandonment by supervisors.

Supervisors should reconsider their decision and openly discuss their concerns about the economic development authority and explain why they seek to end their involvement.

Taxpayers deserve a more fact-based explanation than the “just because” provided as justification thus far.