07/26/12

POP Response

This letter to the editor appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune on July 26, 2012:

After reading Logan Jenkins’ opinion piece on Prosperity on Purpose, we were awe-struck that he could write a full article summarizing the recently completed draft Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) without discussing a single regional economic development issue that was identified in the report. While Mr. Jenkins did not comment on a single issue or idea that was identified in the report based on the input of over 100 stakeholders, he did share some of his personal ideas for improving the North County.

Why talk about the ideas and recommendations that came from the region’s leading business leaders, educators and elected officials, painstakingly developed over eight months, when you can throw out a few quick one-liners such as reducing the number of water districts? 

Mr. Jenkins has no idea what a CEDS is, the process to produce one or why it is so badly needed for North County. Why consider actual economic data and empirical evidence to develop a plan for a region, when you have an all-powerful opinion that trumps the need for any real data or thoughtful analysis? 

Mr. Jenkins also suggests that the process should have been applied to a larger area of North County and then goes on to argue that any regional planning effort will fail because of the inability to find consensus among a broad range of municipal voices. His perspective suggests that it is better to do nothing at all, stand on the sidelines complaining and cheer for the status quo rather than rolling up your sleeves, working collaboratively with your neighbors and developing a plan to bring more jobs, education opportunities and infrastructure investments to North County. 

The Prosperity on Purpose Task Force chairs – Randy Goodson, Regina Eisenbach, Francisco Rodriguez and I – thank Mr. Jenkins for his contribution, but we’ll stick with the feedback from over 100 stakeholders and dedicated team members who worked tirelessly to create a new collaborative vision forward. 

We invite the rest of the community to review the draft report and provide feedback on its actual content at sdnedc.org. – George Weir, George Weir Asphalt Construction Inc., Escondido