Privatized economic development still controversial

October 11, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The old debate in Indiana over whether economic development can be accomplished better outside of state government is spreading to other states. But the there’s no more agreement than ever.

Indiana replaced the Department of Commerce with the privatized Indiana Economic Development Corp. in 2005. At the time, newly elected Gov. Mitch Daniels said private operation, including board members appointed from the private sector, would help the agency move faster to attract jobs.

Ohio and Iowa are the latest states to consider the idea, as Republican candidates for governor in those states call for abandoning their state-run agencies.

“No more bureaucrats, no more bungling, no more tripping over one another,” said U.S. Rep. John Kasich, who has been supported by Daniels in his run for governor of Ohio.

Indiana’s IEDC collected mixed reviews in an Associated Press story about the trend. House Speaker Pat Bauer, a Democrat, was noted for his call to reform IEDC following reports of job commitments that didn’t materialize. John Krauss, who directs the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and was a deputy mayor under former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut, a Republican, opined that private operation allows for attracting private donations in an era of angry taxpayers.

Scandals aren’t unique to either public or private agencies. In Iowa, allegations of fraud, abuse and sloppy bookkeeping cost the jobs of five workers in the state’s film promotion office; Florida’s privatized organization doled out millions of dollars in incentives to companies that joined the group’s board.

In your mind, what works best—public or private? Any thoughts on how you like IEDC now that it’s been in operation for awhile?

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Privatized Economic Development
    Either model works, i.e. public or private, as long as everyone is on the same page with regard to long-term strategic plan. Injecting politics into economic development never works.
    • What Say You?
      Huh? Public policies create the environment for businesses to succeed or fail while providing the quality of life services to the public. Maybe you can revise and extend your remarks?

    Post a comment to this blog

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT
    1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

    2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

    3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

    4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

    5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

    ADVERTISEMENT