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Miscellany on Development Policy in Whitewater

There’s a significant difference between local, political calls for urgency and genuine need. Recent discussions about development policy in Whitewater only bolster this view.

A few remarks (as I’ve been asked more than once what I think of the last two months’ events) —

Independence. The best decision one could make when writing about policy in Whitewater is to remain independent of politicians, appointees, and smarmy special interest groups. The temptation is to get close; that temptation leads only to error. The more one watches, the more one is confirmed in this view.

Urgency. Matters of true urgency are ones that involve an immediate risk to life or liberty.

Calls for urgency in the hiring of a Community Development Authority director, although not truly urgent, matter only if those calls will have practical advantage for the majority of residents’ personal and household conditions.

There’s no sign whatever that a new director will be an advantage to ordinary residents’ economic situations. Of course, it’s true that a few local special interests may – themselves – benefit by controlling development policy.  They may feel a sense of urgency; their urgency means nothing to a reasonable person.

There’s something shamelessly absurd about men who’ve wrecked policy for decades complaining about a few months here or there

Hiring. The Whitewater Community Development Authority has a timeline for hiring. Their schedule won’t matter – it’s not the timeline for a director that matters, it’s the policy direction that matters.

Whitewater’s practice and development structure is sub-standard, and is organized more like a stereotypical backward southern town than a modern-day professional community. A key aspect of that deficient practice & structure is the ease with with private special interests can manipulate public policy, by capturing control of agency appointees and agency agendas. 

Any worthy candidate will review this CDA’s track record, and the kind of special interest ‘stakeholders’ who’ll be part of the interviewing process, and walk away. Serious candidates will notice the gap between Whitewater and other communities’ practices, and the low-quality of self-described local ‘development leaders,’ through their own research and in their impressions while interviewing.

The only candidates who’ll remain interested will be the desperate or dim-witted. Someone with respect for his or her credentials would not work in the development structure Whitewater has had for the last generation.

A Thorough Critique.  A thorough critique involves a broader perspective. It’s better, for now, to let a process unfold, listening as those involved speak freely.

 

2 comments for “Miscellany on Development Policy in Whitewater

  1. Attendee
    02/28/2020 at 11:02 AM

    Yeah. Funny and sad but true too. The moment is gone these guys are still talking like they can fix it. They are the ones who let it get away. Now they want everyone to hurry up.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      02/28/2020 at 12:24 PM

      Whitewater’s problem is a slow, longterm decline. Sudden, dramatic decline is highly unlikely: the university (even with budget cuts) is a cushion against a collapse. Sudden, dramatic improvement is, unfortunately, equally unlikely: these men are talking growth while practicing business welfare and agency capture. For ordinary residents, it’s a mug’s game.