Why is Commission Chair Greg Edds in a Huge Hurry to Toss State Tax Money at Nonperformer Robert Van Geons and RowanWorks?

Posted on August 9, 2016

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ Commission Chair Greg Edds tells us the county commission received additional money from the state’s new service tax on auto repairs and such.  Skipping over the fact that the NC Legislature is controlled by my Republican Party said to be against more taxation, suddenly its “Christmas in Rowan” to the tune of $2 million dollars.

What would I do if I was in the Commission Chair’s Keds? Since the start of 2015 Edds had control of the commission with his two bookends Judy Klusman and Jim Green.   I’d better utilize every last penny of the taxpayer giveaway and hire one or more nationally respected industrial plant recruitment firms to land Rowan a BMW or Toyota sized industrial facility that pay living wages.  It’s that simple.  A contingent contract requiring them to produce to get paid more than the minimum fee would be mandatory. Why more than one?  Healthy competition. Make them fight for it.

I would also make sure a contract provision existed to prevent the use of private site selectors if those interested companies wanted incentives. If a business wished to spread around money to certain locals to do the work that motivated government employees could and should do– it’s “on them.” I would not give them taxpayer money either directly or indirectly. No one wants Rowan to look like a “closed shop”. Right?

Instead, Edds wants to pump an additional $100,000.00 into “Rowanworks/EDC” a private non-profit which has zero accountability to the public to hire Director Robert Van Geons an assistant to be a Director of Business Development.  He is supposed to “generate leads” for new businesses who may want to come to Rowan. All this time I thought that was Van Geon’s job. So the guy we hired to bring high quality jobs to Rowan, hasn’t, so we hire him a $100K per year an assistant? Oh yeah, we throw an additional $200,000.00 at Rowanworks because we are getting outspent by other counties on their EDC? How long do we go on rewarding folks for failure? I would be much happier spending the money with all new leadership.

A Parody of RVG:

I know I am starting to sound like Jim Sides, but constantly competing with other counties in this state on EDC spending, teacher supplements and tax incentives just pits all the state’s subdivisions (counties and cities) against each other in a never ending battle for jobs and good teachers.

Now, the “sign wars” have begun. Information is that Kannapolis is considering building some city limits “tower of power” along I-85 to attract development and tourism along the interstate. Not to be outdone, Edds proposes two 300K plus twin-tower monstrosity signs for Rowan that look like a “South of the Border, SC” rest area.

Rowan needs far better.

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