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Letter: Economic Development Councils much ado about nothing
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Dear Editor: Last Tuesday, during public comments, I raised a question to the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners.  The question was “How is the County was benefitting, or what is the return on investment for the County, considering taxpayers dollars account for more than 3/4 of the total budget for the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council?”  I also requested that the CREDC come before the Commission to make a presentation on what it has done to serve Rockdale County taxpayers. 

This week, Marty Jones, CREDC Director, made a presentation before the BOC suggesting that the return on investment for Rockdale County taxpayers was unusually high given that regardless of where the businesses are located, i.e., City or County, that all had to pay County taxes and this was just one of the ways in which taxpayers benefitted.  It is noted here that the businesses he referenced are existing---not new---businesses.  Further, Mr. Jones made it clear that most of the progress in economic development under the auspices of the CREDC occurred during the tenure of his predecessor.  

Immediately following Mr. Jones’ presentation, the Rockdale News printed an article that on its surface appears to be very self-serving in view of the comments that were attributed to Mr. Jones, and Rockdale Commissioners Nesbitt and VanNess, both of whom served previously on this body. Their comments can also be construed as a slap in the face to a taxpayer who has a right to question the way the County spends money. To avoid this in the future, perhaps the CREDC should submit a quarterly report to the BOC and the public so that everyone understands just how this body is serving the City and the County.  In the instant case, for Mr. Nesbitt to suggest that the County INCREASE its commitment to the CREDC is ludicrous.  Obviously his decision cannot be based upon the lack of information and progress, inflated figures, and inadequate ROI that was present in Mr. Jones’ presentation

It is clear to me that the CREDC has much work and explaining to do to Rockdale taxpayers. To the writer, it appears that there is “much ado about nothing,” and that the parties are scrambling to justify their continuing existence.  


Elaine Davis-Nickens

Rockdale County