Friday, April 1, 2011

VEDC and Chamber of Commerce: We got a man down!

Well, It appears as though the first readings are registering on the Geiger Counter Victoria from Mayor Will's nuclear warfare. In an interesting turn of events, UHV has decided to suspend their memberships in both the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and VEDC. This may not seem like much, but it could turn into something more. I have to hand it Don Smith. He did the right thing, and he did it with grace and integrity.

But as in most things, I tend to want to use this as an opportunity to discuss an aspect of VEDC that has been puzzling me for some time. According to VEDC's website, they have 74 voting members. I was thinking about breaking them down by category, but I think I will save that for a future blog. What I would like to focus on are just a few of their members, namely those that are government agencies. VISD, The Victoria College, and Citizens Medical Center are all voting members of VEDC. My thought is, Why? Why are these entities, two of which have direct taxing authority, helping fund an agency whose purpose it is to attract business? I am sure someone will comment on this blog, explaining how all things are interrelated, the leg bone is connected to the knee bone, synergy, strategic partnership, blah, blah, blah. You can save it. I have heard it all before.

Let me tell you what I think about it. I think it is just another way of taking public dollars and funneling them through a private agency, whose disclosure standards are nowhere near as stringent. I think it is more manipulation by those who believe in an unholy alliance between government and business.

In the past, I have referred to VEDC as the Victoria Economic DESTRUCTION Corporation. While I still think that title is appropriate, not to mention that it is acronymically correct, perhaps a more perfect name would by the Victoria Government Development Corporation.

I will go further into detail in Part 2. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matt, you too could become a voting member by paying your yearly dues.

Not sure the amount but I've heard $1,000 to $10,000.

Perhaps someone knows which it is?