Monday, April 20, 2015

Profound?; The Business Journal's Mark Sutter on the new Greensboro Partnership 'Shill'?

"...As the Greensboro Partnership’s new lead economic developer, [Brent Christensen's] timing couldn’t be better.

Or worse. It depends how you look at it.

The thing is that the bar seems to be set so low...

There’s no two ways around it.

Economic development efforts in this city have been a bit of a mess.

...the victories have been few and far between lately for those who are actually charged with recruiting and retaining businesses.

Like Zack Matheny.

...Three of the organizations most directly involved in Greensboro economic development – the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP), Downtown Greensboro Inc. and the Greensboro Partnership – have faced heavy criticism, both publicly and privately: too few results, too little transparency, too much good ol’ boy networking, too little diversity and too much expense — much of it on the public dime.

Who's responsible?

Nancy Vaughan, Zack Matheny
Roy Carroll, Marty Kotis, Jim Melvin, 
the Samet's, the Koury's, Dawn Chaney, 
 Gary Brame, the News and Record, the Rhino Times, 
Skip Alston, Mike Barber, Nancy Hoffmann, Yvonne Johnson, 
Robbie Perkins, April Harris, Randall Kaplan, 
John Lomax, Sam Simpson, Richard Beard, Matt Brown, 
Mary Vigue, Brenda Jones Fox, Steve Arnold, 
the Isaacson's, Windsor, 
anyone who received incentives and said projects were dependent
 on taxpayer support etc...

If that weren't enough, just last week one of the organizations — PTP — revealed it has asked the police to investigate the financial dealing of its former CEO.

...It’s quite simply a missed opportunity not to have strong leadership in place at DGI...

Who is responsible for missing the opportunity?

...PTP's former CEO David Powell has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Neither has Jim Melvin, Sam Simpson
Mike Barber, Zack Matheny and Nancy Vaughan, 
among others.

It’s not clear what exactly is being alleged to have gone on during his tenure at PTP.  But when the ...board at PTP feels, as it did this past week, it has to ask local authorities to investigate its own hand-picked guy for suspected “financial irregularities,” well, no one involved looks very good, do they?

...Under Powell, PTP contracted — laying off most of its workers and narrowing its mission, including scaling back efforts to market the region that included Greensboro. Powell put most of his energy into two projects — the creation of a megasite with the aim of drawing an automaker or similar big employer, and the creation of TriadFirst, a group designed to help provide capital for growing local businesses.

Well, TriadFirst never really jelled and now seems to be in limbo. And it’s become clear recently that Melvin, the Greensboro ex-mayor, has been a driving force – perhaps more than Powell – behind the megasite effort. That’s not to say Powell wasn’t heavily involved, but it’s certainly less clear what his role has been in recent weeks and months as this “financial” drama has apparently played out behind the scenes.

...Greensboro’s top economic development execs have been paid well, perhaps even more than their counterparts in comparable markets. As of 2013, Powell had an annual compensation package worth $326,000, Danahy, $293,000 and Lynch, $202,000.

By comparison, the head of economic development in Greenville, S.C., a city often held up as a model for Greensboro, made $147,000 in 2013..."
Everybody feel good and fekcud?