©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Lows Outweigh the Highs for GREDA in 2008
|There was good news, there was bad news, and there was false news for Knox County's primary economic development entity in 2008.
The Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association touted a number of successes their organization had during the last year. GREDA got several businesses to open up in 2008, and celebrated several more that expanded. But in the face of an economy that was headed downward even before pundits and the public wanted to use the dreaded "R" word, all the successes couldn't compare in the eyes of the public, or most local politicians, to one big failure.
There are still no tenants in Logistics Park Galesburg, and officials are tight-lipped about whether there are even prospects. What's more, the two firms tasked with marketing the park, led by CentrePoint Properties, pulled out of their agreement to do so...via e-mail. That alone left Galesburg Mayor Gary Smith furious in an interview with WGIL.
"What business model they want to pursue is their own choice," Smith said several months ago. "I think the way that they did it was very unprofessional, and I wish they would have had the courtesy of actually coming down (to Galesburg) and explaining this to us instead of doing it by e-mail, with no phone call to the mayor or to the city manager whatsoever."
Smith called the firm's actions cowardly at first, but backed off of that after he had an actual conversation with them.
But that led to an unraveling of sorts for GREDA. City and county leaders alike seemingly all-year long accused GREDA of not being communicative with the public, despite frequent interviews with WGIL. That led to a newly-reworked contract between the County and GREDA. But when the City had its turned, aldermen failed to pass a new deal, canceling their current one as of March, following financial mismanagement allegations by Sixth Ward Alderman Wayne Allen -- despite those allegations turning out to be false.
Now, the city council will start Monday night figuring out what to do from here.
(Dick Johnson, GREDA Vice President, displays a information manual for start-up businesses, "Where to Go for What" published by GREDA in November.)
(A full house watches as GREDA Chairman Bob Fulton, center and back to the camera, speaks to the Galesburg City Council in November. WGIL News Story and File Photos by Will Stevenson.)
|01 02 09 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.