EDC conversation, Holbrook controversy continues

For more of my commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana check out RichmondMatters.com.
(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

Another Sunday, another industrial-park-sized batch of column inches devoted to the unfolding controversy around EDC president Don Holbrook, the EDC board, and apparent mismanagement, miscommunication and missed opportunities at all levels. I won't bother distinguishing between the "news" and "opinion" articles, as they all have similar themes from all sides of the issue: "EDC president's expenses detailed,""County taking action to step up oversight,""Wayne Co. spends more on development than others in state,""EDC has brought jobs to area during tenure,""Corporation might also share blame in situation,""Residents react to EDC,""Don Holbrook must go,""The threat to job creation,""A go-getter with integrity needed at helm of EDC," and "Sunshine the best disinfectant for what ails the EDC." Whew! I'll check and see what the Pal-Item's "per click-through commission" plan looks like these days...for now I couldn't find any other news organizations in the state covering this story.

Through the Pal-Item's own reporting and with quotes from community members, the series does a reasonable job of covering the main issues here: serious evidence of financial mismanagement, poisoned relationships between and within the EDC board and staff, all sorts of public perception issues, and "big-picture" questions about the EDC's role and mission in our community. As much as the very public controversy builds on an already negative atmosphere surrounding economic development in the area, and as painful as it is to see that the impacts of this conflict could have a ripple effect for years to come, it again represents an opportunity for serious public dialogue about the issues that matter to us, and a chance for us as citizens to take responsibility for the future of our community. But for now, we all lose.

3 thoughts on “EDC conversation, Holbrook controversy continues

  1. In response to your weblog about Holbrook. I am writing from Lake Havasu, Arizona. We have had our fair share of Holbrook through the years and looks as if the community at large is still not rid of him. He is proposing a low-income apt development, funded by tax payers, through the Arizona Dept of Housing. After finding out the information about Holbrook through the Pal-item, I was not surprised. The questionable behaviors he has made here in Havasu leave many with frustration. By no means do we want this man to develope as a neighbor, his integrity alone should be enough reason. We could use some tips on how to rid Holbrook ourselves. Any out there?

  2. Thomas Kemp has filled in for me a bit lately as "that blogger who links to Pal-Item stories about the EDC," aptly noting in Wayne County EDC: Trouble Still Brewing? and More Wayne County EDC Coverage that "this story is far from over." The Pal-Item must have realized that too, since they setup their own special coverage section of their website and are starting to use alternatives to phrases like "concerns" and are now talking about how the questions around EDC activities "swirl."

    Chris

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