Let’s look around state for answers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

The wheel was invented thousands of years ago, yet it’s been “reinvented” millions of times since.

It’s human nature to feel that our version of something will be better than ones that already exist.

Yet, that’s rarely the case.

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The same can be said for economic development structures.

Our community is facing a decision about whether to support the existing economic development authority or to create a new structure.

If we opt for the new structure, we’re fortunate that we don’t have to reinvent the EDA wheel.

Dozens of models exist and several great structures work well in other parts of our states.

But a few common threads are weaved through all of the most successful plans.

Perhaps most important of all is that the entire community must support the EDA. That means not only publicly supporting with finances, but also supporting it with words and actions.

Almost all successful communities are clear when asked who handles economic development issues: our EDA does. In Natchez and Adams County, that answer gets more complicated since the answer can be the EDA, the city or the county.

Our community’s leaders must swallow our egos in thinking that we can invent something new and better and simply learn what works from others.

Let’s avoid reinventing the wheel.