Saturday, October 24, 2009

Economic Development

Not surprisingly, each candidate is discussing economic development as part of their platforms. However, as I evaluate what I see as and how I define economic development and compare that to the ideas of the other candidates,differences can be seen. I don't believe that our economic development plan needs to be intertwined with our transportation needs. (Our transportation needs are significant and critical) The idea that better transportation will inherently bring more businesses that will significantly contribute to the tax base of Eagle Mountain and provide jobs for our residents is insufficient. In reality, Utah is a state whose main commerce is achieved through phones and computers, not boat, rail or road. Thus we are surrounded with businesses who are capable of coming to Eagle Mountain and thriving immediately. These service based businesses don't require hundreds of trucks delivering supplies each day. They require affordable land, a capable labor pool and an internet connection. Each of these things we can provide today. What is being done and what more should be done to make Eagle Mountain more commercially attractive? How are we better positioned to benefit from a recovering and expanding economy tomorrow than we were yesterday? Are there additional opportunities that haven't yet been investigated?
Over the last several weeks, residents have shared with me that they want to have economic development that allows them to work in Eagle Mountain, shop in Eagle Mountain and play in Eagle Mountain. I share these desires. Accomplishing these goals require the cooperation of many people beyond the City Council, however we can and should ensure that every line in the city code is carefully written to entice and suggest business growth. When I visit with local business owners and they share with me the difficult experiences they had in establishing their business due to the required navigation of bureaucratic red-tape, it makes we wonder what the other candidates really mean when they say economic development. They have already had 4 years. For me, we need to identify our competitive advantage, identify what measures we can and should (both short and long-term) use for business incentives and then target those businesses and industries who can come to Eagle Mountain today, not in 5-10 years when we have 6 lane highways through city center.

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