San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

July 28th, 2009
Commentary: Worth dancing about

Commentary
By AMY MADISON
Economic Development San Marcos Executive Director

Fred Astaire once said about Ginger Rogers, “she does everything that I do, but backwards and in high heels.”  Trying to stimulate and grow a local economy in an uncertain economic climate is similar. It is a tougher job, but it can be done – hopefully, without stepping on anyone’s toes.

Since March, 33 leaders in the Greater San Marcos Area have been pouring over results from community focus groups and surveys, statistics and demographics, and learning about global, national and regional trends. They have been dancing backwards to arrive at conclusions about how we move forward to grow the Greater San Marcos area economy.

The leaders formed a regional public-private partnership, Partners for Progress, in early January to oversee the plan. Members include the City of San Marcos, Economic Development San Marcos (EDSM), San Marcos Chamber of Commerce (SMACC), Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC), Texas State University, Hays County, Gary Job Corps, San Marcos CISD, Caldwell County, the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation, the Luling Economic Development Corporation, and Prime Outlet Mall.

These regional partners have invested not just time, but money, in our future. The result will be a four-year economic development strategic implementation plan, slated for adoption in early September, which will take us places we have never before thought possible.

Taking the lead in this dance is Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in community and economic development planning. Watching this company pair with our community leaders to discuss issues and arrive at ways to address them is a lot like watching Fred and Ginger. It is graceful, requires coordinated effort, lots of skill, and a healthy amount of dedication and commitment.

Most of what we have identified as issues facing our community will not be news to anyone who has lived here for a while, but working together to address the issues we face in this community is news. In fact, a comprehensive regional economic plan has never before been attempted. The plan will be our roadmap to the future, and the first concentrated effort to fold the plans of our stakeholders into a joint collaboration to grow the Greater San Marcos Area in a responsible, sustainable manner.

It has been said that a fool with a plan can beat any genius without one. By mid-September, we will have an economic development strategic plan and some very intelligent people in San Marcos ready to implement the three goals identified for the plan: Economic Diversification, Quality of Place, and Workforce Excellence.

Now, that’s a something worth dancing about in San Marcos, no matter whether you are wearing high heels, boots or you’re just plain barefoot.

EDSM Executive Director Amy Madison is a certified economic development professional with more than 20 years of combined experience in community and economic development.

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0 thoughts on “Commentary: Worth dancing about

  1. I look forward to hearing the plan and based on your comments, I am cautiously optimistic that we can expect to see a push for careers that pay a living wage and help retain more of our Texas State graduates.

  2. Maybe they should wait for their economic development plan before they go offering any more incentives to anyone.

  3. Thanks for telling us nothing about the plan except for how lucky we are that your group put it together. Less hyperbole; more facts.

  4. Ted I think you need to run for council! We need someone like you in there. Really! Please consider it.

  5. Eddie, thanks. Unfortunately, I don’t see how I would find the time to put in the amount of work that is required. Not right now, anyway.

  6. It appears these PUBLIC/PRIVATE interests are combining to form a SUPRA governmental force that doesn’t answer to the people.

    This is nothing short of TYRANNY in grand form and I don’t care how they try to justify it. What authority do We the People give to any individual, much less a group of citizens, to advocate local government join ANY ‘club’ to control … everything?

    I believe this is called a coup, at best. AND, it literally changes our form of local government and threatens freedom. Just ‘trust’ them…

    I’m astonished that we continue to allow our local government to run awry with any ‘altruistic’ reason. This is how government takes on more power to destroy freedom and control everything in your life. Look what a GREAT job they have done so far! S-c-a-r-y

    I want you to look at the above statement that claims that THEY are the ones who have invested in OUR future. PLEASE! This makes me physically ill. Which one of these ‘partners’ would exist if it were not for OUR labor and tax dollars? Would any government exist if we hadn’t created it?

    Watch ’em do the ‘victory’ dance.

    ‘Any excuse is a good one for a tyrant’. Aesop

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