Reconsider funding for Brooke EDA

Most public officials learn quickly that they cannot please everyone. There simply is not enough taxpayers’ money to go around.

Brooke County commissioners came under fire this week because of their decision not to provide funding to the county Economic Development Authority during the upcoming fiscal year.

Members of that organization attended the commission’s Tuesday meeting, asking that the EDA funding request, for $24,000, be reconsidered.

Commissioners, while agreeing the EDA does good work, said they believe the authority has $7,000 in its accounts and can accomplish projects with that amount.

Economic development is a key concern in area communities. But another organization, the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, has been doing effective work in that regard in both Brooke and Hancock counties.

Though we cannot speak for commissioners, that aspect of the issue may have influenced their deciion regarding the EDA.

But, as was pointed out Tuesday, the EDA is involved in numerous other important initiatives. They include assisting local businesses and helping with municipal revitalization initiatives. In some ways, the authority seems to be a connection between businesses and the community at large.

Finding out precisely how EDA officials intend to use the $24,000 they seek ought to be commissioners’ first step in rethinking their decision.

Other considerations come into play, as Commissioner Stacey Wise — also an EDA board member — pointed out. Some organizations provide overlapping services, she noted.

Commissioners cannot and should not make funding decisions based on a philosophy of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, of course. Still, the number of people who showed up for Tuesday’s meeting, asking that the EDA decision be reconsidered, is ample reason for just that to happen.

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