I’ve been as strident a critic of the current council as anyone.
And, yes, the Windstream Technologies notion of green wind turbines might well be the next great idea. In theory, I like it.
Just the same, under the current rules of the game, the proposal that our city play bank to a private company without money or credit of its own came with many more risks than most such interventions, to such an obvious extent that the administration itself was tapping the brakes to take a closer look. It was fitting and proper for both branches of government to dig deeper. I’m glad they did.
Obviously, Windstream was in a hurry and skedaddled, primarily because in some fashion as yet unknown, North Vernon offered it a quicker and better deal. Seems the enraptured suitor was playing the field, widely, and accordingly, there’s a good chance that posterity will judge New Albany’s caution as justified under the circumstances.
Why marry the first one who comes along, anyway?
OSIN disagrees, yet again advising injudicious risk-taking in economic development. The newpaper’s editorial board has traveled down this path before with reference to the River View development: “In order to grow and attract businesses, governments sometimes have to take a leap of faith, and provide incentives.”
I don’t entirely disagree, other than to say that if we’re serious about breaking banks, let’s do it right.
If the economy is bad enough to justify governmental intervention in River View and Windstream, perhaps a detailed examination of the structural iniquities of American capitalism is merited, and the degree of governmental involvement heightened somewhat beyond the smaller comparative potatoes of foundational parking garages and $3.7 million high-risk loans to Californians.
EDITORIAL: No winds of change a shame
NEW ALBANY — On the same day Windstream Technologies decided to take its $3.7 million expansion investment elsewhere, the New Albany Redevelopment Commission elected to spend $35,000 to save a historic house at 703 E. Eighth St. that’s partially collapsed.
These two issues are very different, but ironically New Albany leaders were looking to resurrect the past on the same day it appeared they shunned a potential key component of the city’s future — jobs.