There has been discussion about having the city and the Chamber of Commerce jointly fund a "go-to" position for economic development in Evansville. The Economic Development Committee recommended that the city fund 40% of such a position to the tune of $12,000 a year.
The position was not funded in the latest budget proposal, mainly due to WERP restrictions but could be resurrected by cuts to other programs.
To my mind, this position would be a waste of city dollars. The whole point is to have one place to call for those looking to invest in the city and to drive economic, rather than residential, growth in the city. The best possible solution to that would be to fill the vacant City Administrator's position with someone who will aggressively represent the city.
Too often in the past, the City Administrator has been turned into a hand-holder for residential development at the expense of much needed Industrial and Commercial business. Teaming with the CoC in those duties will result in a conflict of interest for either the city or the Chamber that could quickly become untenable. While there are mutual benefits to be driven by new business in town, there are also situations that would benefit the city while contradicting the mission of the Chamber.
In order to best benefit the city we need to fill the Administrator's position soon (the newest target date is 11/16) with someone to serve as a lightning rod for the interests of the city and the taxpayers. Funding a position for the CoC is not in the best interests of either group.
One who serves two masters serves neither well. (Matt. 6:24)