Archive for Thursday, February 18, 2010

LCDC approves amendments to Program of Work document

February 18, 2010

The Leavenworth County Development Corporation is tweaking its Program of Work, a document created to account for LCDC’s productivity.

At Thursday’s monthly meeting in Basehor, LCDC board members unanimously approved to amend the Program of Work to set more realistic goals for the organization and to make it easier for city officials to track LCDC’s progress.

LCDC developed the Program of Work when it realized many city officials who fund the organization didn’t have a clear vision of LCDC’s role in their communities.

“There was an obvious position from city officials that they don’t understand what we do, therefore, they don’t give us any value as an organization,” LCDC executive director Steve Jack said.

Program of Work came to fruition last year, and this year, LCDC is striving to make it better.

Some of the changes made at the Feb. 11 board meeting included holding LCDC accountable for reporting job creation and retention in the county instead of holding it accountable for creating and retaining all the jobs themselves.

LCDC board member Dan Gutshall presented the amendments, saying it was LCDC’s job to create an environment conducive to new business, not to solely create jobs. Creating new jobs is a community effort, Gutshall said.

Another issue raised with LCDC having a target goal of the number of jobs it was responsible for creating was the lack of clarity when it came to claiming which organizations or companies truly created certain jobs and which did nothing.

Leavenworth County Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said he didn’t see why people argued about such aspects of job creation.

“I get a little tired of people getting all in a bunch about, ‘Well, what did they have to do with this?’” he said. “Everyone has a hand in it. We’re reporting we had a hand in creating jobs. I’m sure school districts have a hand in bringing in people and jobs. Everyone has a hand in it.”

Gutshall agreed with Tellefson and said he supported eliminating a goal for LCDC’s job creation total because he felt such a goal was setting LCDC up to fail.

“Let’s say we have a target goal of 100 (jobs created in 2010), and we get 80. That’s a failure,” he said. “Then people say, ‘LCDC, that’s your fault. You’re to blame.’ This needs to be a community goal, not just an LCDC goal.”

The Leavenworth County Development Corporation board approved two of Gutshall’s four amendments at the Feb. 11 meeting and will discuss the remaining two at its next board meeting.

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