There are a few things to keep in mind as Beaufort County attempts to put together a development corporation.
First is the premise that the corporation remain at arm’s length from elected officials. This obviously minimizes possible legal entanglements and conflicts of interests, but also allows the board to act without political baggage. County Council members and local mayors are best relegated to ad hoc, non-voting positions.
Just because someone is elected to oversee government operations does not mean he or she has the business expertise to direct a development corporation. The best practice for economic development is to hire or appoint leaders from the business community with proven records of success. And these board members must be empowered to complete projects and transactions that will transcend the terms of elected officials.
Like many residents, I am rooting for our county to be successful in economic development. But the public sector can best do that by staying within the purview of good governance … and staying out of the business development purview that is the realm of the private sector.
Here’s hoping for a smooth transition from where we are today to where we need to be.