Wish List

I am putting forth my Christmas gift request now. All I want for Christmas is for Fairfield County to deliver an economic development strategy that produces more than additional empty buildings, rich land sellers, below state average economic numbers and below average quality of life ratings.

I realize this wish seems too much like pure fantasy but it is doable. All our Council has to do is come to grips with certain economic paradigms.

“A diverse economy is a resilient economy” is a truism Council should first embrace. In other words, only going for the home run produces more strike outs and far fewer hits and runs; mix it up far more to get a more prosperous and reliable economy. They also have to understand small businesses produce the most job creation and the most sustainable economies. Plus, they should remember it is cheaper and likely more successful to attract small business rather than large companies. Supporting and uplifting existing business is, also, cheaper and usually more successful. We are losing sight of the fundamental big picture with the overemphasized recruitment vehicles of heavy incentives and large granite land plots to get the next unreliable MEGA plant.

Please Council, also, add to our Christmas by an implementing an aggressive Geotourism program which leverages our natural and historic amenities. Lastly, Council, include in your present a clear understanding you do not create a fertile economic environment by spending twice as much as your rural government peers while producing little in quality of life differentials. Following at least some of these suggestions will be our best Christmas gift for many, many Christmases to come.

Randy Bright



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