Unless I’m reading his proposed budget wrong, the mayor has recommended a nearly 40 percent cut to the allocation the city makes to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
You can look through that part of his proposed budget here. Last year, EDC received $1,013,766. This year the mayor wants to send it $619,150.
You might remember our plea a few months ago to eliminate EDC’s funding.
Here was the thrust of that argument:
The Economic Development Corp., or EDC, received just more than $1 million last year from the city of San Diego. While gripes about the taxpayer funding of the agency — and the bloated salary of its CEO — have come up in the past, the city’s troubling financial position and the lack of valuable production from EDC makes this the time for real change.
The effort to attract new jobs and enterprises to the region may indeed be worthy of an investment from taxpayers, but only if it is administered in the most efficient way possible.
It is not clear that this is the case now. Not only is the city facing a financial crisis, but EDC has not had much success — nor placed much emphasis on — luring new businesses to San Diego.
The mayor’s proposed cut is a start. It hopefully will force all of the business associations in town, along with local governments, to find a new way to attract companies to San Diego. EDC and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce should consider merging their efforts. Local politicos should, like Sanders, withhold funds until a solution is found.
Let’s restate: Attracting sustainable businesses to San Diego is an endeavor that deserves support. But EDC isn’t getting the job done. Its leaders chose to focus on lobbying the city and other local agencies to influence legislative and policy decisions in favor of what they believed was a business friendly environment.
If they want to lobby on behalf of businesses in town, let the businesses fund their efforts completely.