LETTER: Stuck in the same place
Published 8:38 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018
On Oct. 31, I contacted each of the Cass County Commissioners via email urging them to vote in favor of placing the historical courthouse under the management of the Cass County Economic Development Commission. On Nov. 8, the commissioners chose the least effective of bad decisions…they punted.
Now, we’re at the same place we’ve been for years…arguing over what to do with the historical courthouse. Following is what I urged the commissioners to do along with the logic of my position.
“Several years ago, I worked at the Cassopolis Chamber of Commerce and was a witness to the struggle that arose around the courthouse question at that time and how the Law and Courts building came into being. If there had been an active EDC at that time, the question of “what to do with the courthouse” could have been resolved and downtown Cassopolis might have had a better chance of thriving. Now, here we are again, but this time we do have an Economice Development Commission whose sole purpose is to bring growth to Cass county with minimal taxpayer cost while still allowing both the commissioners and the residents of Cass County to still have control. Since the EDC is appointed by the county, those board members still need commissioner input, and can operate using grants and foundations as a major financial resource. This would be a “Win/Win” situation for both the commissioners (thru county commissioners’ input to the EDC) and taxpayers (thru use of the nonprofit — EDC) .
As you’re aware, we have another nonprofit that is a jewel of Cass County. The Cass County Council on Aging. The board of directors at that time had the foresight to use it’s nonprofit status of a 501c3 to develop and grow its impact on the county. We can do that again with the EDC usinge it’s resources to develop and grow the use of the historical courthouse and its impact on the county.
I urge you to please do what is best for our county and be remembered for your foresight as well.
Thank you for your willingness to serve in your capacity as a County Commissioner.