Economic Development Alliance Should Prove Fruitful For County

One aspect of County Executive George Borrello’s economic development shakeup makes a boatload of sense if it functions properly.

Borrello wants to create an Economic Development Alliance that includes countywide private foundation officials. Borrello wants the group to help set economic development policy along with his newly rebranded Deputy County Executive for Economic Development. As explained to Chautauqua County legislators on the Administrative Services Committee, Borrello wants the organization to implement strategy and create a true countywide one-stop center for businesses that want to locate or expand in Chautauqua County.

“We have had a lot of false starts in this county unfortunately because they have been the wrong location or not enough resources or the improper siting, I guess, of where something is supposed to go that had created situations where we had lost opportunities,” Borrello said. “For the outside looking in, we don’t always look like we’re organized well enough for people who don’t have the confidence to come here and say, who should I speak with? So, it’s my hope that if we get everybody’s buy-in, we can create this economic development alliance and above that alliance will be an economic development advisory council which will be made up of a lot of private sector folks already involved in business. We want everybody to have skin in the game.”

It’s a good idea. Many people remember the Saturn Petcare fiasco from a few years ago. Having all of the county’s major economic development players at the same table, working together to accomplish coordinated goals, can only make the county as a whole a better place. Too often, we have towns competing with the cities and the cities competing with the county. Development, by its very nature, involves big checkbooks and big egos. We need everyone to bring their checkbooks and leave their egos at the door. That’s the only way Borrello’s alliance will reach its full potential.