Mar 23, 2007

Developmental Agencies Face The Music

An article in the Washington Business Journal by Senior Staff Reporter Joe Coombs describes some of the political problems that two local development agencies are having. It seems that the NCRC, National Capital Revitalization Corporation, and the AWC, Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, are under attack by several of the cities councilman. From the article:

“Legislation already has been drafted to eliminate the AWC and NCRC and fold their operations into the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. That bill will come up for consideration "as soon as possible," says Councilman Kwame Brown, D-at large and chairman of the council's economic development committee.”

Across the country development corporations are popping up to act as a bridge between, the often cumbersome, local, county, borough, regional and state agencies that are willing to offer incentives to businesses, that bring jobs into their communities.

It’s been my experience that when governments think that they can “do it better” businesses tend to run. Politicians are only successful when they can introduce the active parties and then take the credit. When they try to deal directly with business, too many peripheral issues come into play.

Governments should have a clear outline of reasonable expectations for publicly funded development agencies to prevent politics, personalities and egos from entering into their performance review. We have seen to much self-serving politics and people have to speak out.