WEDC’s Development Gurus Fail Again

All Whitewater has heard Chancellor Telfer, City Manager Clapper, and CDA Chairman Knight tout money from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation as though it were manna from Heaven.  We were supposed to see this money as they meant us to see it, as blessing and providence. 

Meanwhile,  each time those officials flacked these public funds, local news outlets drooled over the receipt of this money as though a scientist had rung a buzzer

The agency they’ve touted for their own self-promotion (‘see what gifts we’ve brought you’) is a dishonest failure, taking the money of ordinary taxpayers, giving it mostly to insiders, and then proclaiming that taking as though it were sound policy. 

Yet again, one reads that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has failed to keep track of taxpayer-funded loans for another entire year:

After saying repeatedly last year that they had shored up their shaky financial controls, officials at Wisconsin’s flagship jobs agency have disclosed that they again failed to follow state law and track how recipients of state loans and grants were spending tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. sent reminders and past-due notices to award recipients in January 2014, but it did not follow up on them until more than a year later, according to a letter written by Hannah Renfro, WEDC’s top lawyer, to its board of directors late last month. The notices said recipients needed to provide schedules prepared by an accountant that detailed their expenditures.

WEDC discovered the delay in December during an internal review, said Mark Maley, a spokesman. The agency’s risk management staff “immediately began investigating to find the root of the problem and involved other staff to create a solution,” Maley said.

The staff presented “preliminary results” to agency management in late January, and 77 past-due notices regarding the expenditures were sent to 67 companies on Feb. 13, Maley said. The value of the loans and grants reflected in those notices was $43.3 million, Maley said….

See, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. fails to track how companies used incentives: Jobs agency sent past-due notices to 67 companies.

I almost believe that if Messrs. Telfer, Knight, and Clapper had relied on an agency staffed by apes (chimpanzees, let’s say), they would have found partners at least as competent and honest as they ones they’ve found in the men and women of the WEDC. 

For prior posts @ FREE WHITEWATER on the WEDC, here’s a category link.

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