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 The Legacy of the Ortonville EDA...

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: The Legacy of the Ortonville EDA...   Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:45 pm

One issue that continually comes up by the candidates in this election is Economic Development. The present administration keeps hanging on the EDA as a shining example of Economic Development in Ortonville. Any economic development coming out of the EDA is hard to see.

In the first place they have boasted that they have raised around $500 thousand in grants. Where's the money? What have they done with it? We have some new playground equipment? It has been boasted that the EDA was instrumental in bringing in Snortum's, Subway and the new exercise place. In conversations with all three of the owners of these business I was told that they choose to come here. The fact that the EDA may have assisted is only after the fact. The EDA didn't go out and bring them in. They came here.

So where is the $500 thousand? What have they spent it for to bring in economic development? They renovated Mayor Blair Johnson's office and Councilman Steve Berkner's business? How does renovation equate to Economic Development? That sounds to me like a beautification project. There is nothing wrong with maintenance and upkeep but it is a smoke screen to call it economic development. We all want to see the downtown of Ortonville looking good but is that economic development?

So, what is the legacy of the EDA? What do they have to show for themselves?

The EDA invested in an illegal business and lost money. Mayor Blair Stipulation Warning.
The EDA has forgiven a loan of a family member of the EDA and the city council. Is the EDA Serving Some People
Mr. David Lang City Clerk/Administrator and Director of the EDA has withheld the minutes of the EDA meetings and the Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Statements for over 4 months. Is it David Lang's job?
The EDA is now in charge of building permits and the citizens are confused as to how they work and how to comply with them. Building Permits, Which Way is Up?
The EDA board consists of Mayor Blair Johnson who also does the books for Fairway View which is under the EDA. It is unknown who actually does the books for the EDA because Mr. David Lang is not forthcoming in his answers.

If the EDA had raised $500 thousand then what did they do with it? Where is the money? That is the kind of question an accountant should be able to answer.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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