Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is County's Economic Development Director Getting the Heave-Ho?

You know something is wrong when people start talking about your replacement even though you don't have any plans to leave.

That's what is happening with Fred Dillingham, executive director of the Economic Development Council. Dillingham has held that post since 1997 and has no plans to retire. But all of a sudden, the Livingston County Commission is talking about who will replace him when he retires.

The all-Republican county commission already has its eyes on having an Ann Arbor group, Ann Arbor SPARK, take over the job of marketing Livingston County. Now, why would Livingston County want a group from another, more urban county to take over economic development for us? Did I mention that the group is tied in with Republican Rick Snyder?

And did I mention that Dillingham was less than enthusiastic earlier this year when Snyder ditched all of the state's economic development incentives in favor of cutting taxes for businesses by $1.7 billion?

Here's what Dillingham said last spring:

"Dillingham said the county's manufacturing base could face a 'double whammy' with Snyder's corporate income tax and the governor's call to end all business-tax incentives. Dillingham previously said tax incentives are responsible for several manufacturing companies setting up shop in the county."

Could that be the reason Dillingham will be feeling some of Rick Snyder's shared sacrifice and Livingston County will have its economic development efforts farmed out to another county?

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