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|Workshop Focuses on Economy
|The people who are hired to run city and county government; city managers, finance directors, county administrators, and the like, are swapping ideas at a day long workshop the University of Illinois is putting on for downstaters.
The Institute of Government and Public Affairs is running a series of workshops in Central Illinois, with Thursday's taking place at Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria.
Professor Geoffrey Hewings, who runs the institute's Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, paints a particularly bleak picture. He says in terms of Illinois' job creation since 2000, "We have underperformed the U. S. and the rest of the Midwest in every sector," he said. "That should send alarm bells. When we have a very diverse portfolio of industries in our state, why aren't they growing at rates comparable to those in the U. S.? We have asked the question, but nobody in our government has seen this as a really key issue." Hewings says those leaders have not understood the reasons for the under-performance.
Hewings uses the analogy of a doctor writing you a prescription without even taking your temperature, the legislature, he says, has been reluctant to spend time learning about the problems. He says instead of partisan politicians being "pro-labor" or "pro-business," everybody should be "pro-economy."
Steve Carter, Champaign's city manager, says people such as him must get a handle on whether the problem is long or short term. He believes it's the former, adding it takes more than simply putting off an equipment purchase for a year, it takes significant cuts.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|09 17 10 by Newsroom
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