Courtesy of the Port O Call, here's a story worth discussing and underlying issues worth worrying about...
Recently, in response to an article in the June issue of Port O Call,
about the Economic Development Council, Port O Call heard chatter about
not having its papers printed locally. We tried that. Here’s the
Back in 2013 when casting about for a local printer for our first edition we
were referred to Sound Publishing, the parent company of the local daily
paper. Port O Call contacted them, got a price, agreed upon a date
and time of delivery and waited like a proud parent in the delivery room.
The agreement was for them to deliver the papers at the same time they
delivered the daily paper. Port O Call was told to be at the
loading dock downtown around midnight when the
daily paper arrives.
Just before close of business we got a call from the printer and he said there
was a change of plans. Now they wanted to deliver the first edition of
Port O Call to my home instead of downtown at PDN’s loading dock.
We agreed, gave them the address, and waited, and waited, and waited.
am Port O Call decided to
take a ride down to the loading dock at PDN to see if they went back to
the original plan. Upon arrival at the PDN loading dock it was dark and
quiet. Port O Call knocked on the door and eventually a kindly
gentleman came to the door. When asked if the inaugural issue of Port
O Call had been delivered by Sound Publishing he invited us in to look
around. It is a big warehouse but was mostly empty. There were many
nooks and crannies to be searched and in a few minutes we found them.
They were as far from the loading dock as could be and hidden under a tarp.
The kindly gentleman got a forklift and brought them to the dock and we rescued
our first issue from the grasp of Sound Publishing and PDN.
Later that day I ran into then publisher of the PDN, John Brewer who said, “I
see you found your papers.”
That was my first foray into business locally and silly me I thought we could
all compete in a friendly manner and try to serve the public from our different
Now, if the daily paper, a long-time member and cheerleader of the EDC, will go
to such extraordinary lengths to quell competition what does that say about the
larger community represented by the EDC?
For instance we all know that healthy competition along with supply and demand
are what make an economy thrive. Good honest competition is good for all
business because in order to succeed a business must remain focused on the
customer. When two businesses compete for the same customers they must
offer the best goods at the best price. The customer benefits from good
When it comes to wages the workers come out better when there is competition
for labor. If there are more jobs than there are workers then business owners
must compete for labor. If there is no competition then there will be
more workers for limited jobs and the workers’ wages will become stagnant and
The EDC while promising to bring in new companies with new jobs and stimulate
an increase in wages actually does the opposite. Imagine the EDC courting
Weyerhauser Timber company to locate a branch here and compete with Green
Crow. Ain’t gonna happen. Imagine a competitor of Interfor seeking
help from the EDC to locate a new plant here to make plywood and compete with
Interfor for wood product and workers. Ain’t gonna happen. Imagine
a gift shop attempting to open up down on Railroad Street. Reckon they
would roll out the red carpet and help them get financing and train workers?
Ain’t gonna happen.
Try to imagine how much assistance the EDC would offer to Home Depot if they
wanted to open a branch store here and compete with EDC member Hartnagel for
customers and workers. What if the corporate honchos of Whole Foods
reached out to the EDC for assistance in opening a new natural foods store in
town. Would the EDC roll out the red carpet for these new ventures or
would they do like the PDN did and attempt to thwart the launch of a new
Thus far the “new and improved” EDC has not landed one company to bring jobs
here. They have done nothing to stimulate better wages. In fact
they are working in the opposite direction. They brag about how many new
members they have. Are we to be excited they have new business members
supporting closed markets and slack wages? Can't these new members fund
the EDC without taxpayer money? Green Crow President, Randy Johnson,
chair of the EDC has given over $100,000 in contributions to Republican
candidates and causes. Has he made a similar investment in his local
Johnson is running for county commissioner in District 2 as an
"independent." Yeah, right.
If the EDC was standing on its own two feet and not using taxpayer money for
its control of the local economy there would be not a peep from Port O Call.
However, when an organization takes up to 70% of its budget from hardworking
taxpayers and uses that money against the best interests of the taxpayers there
is a real problem.
Either we compete on a level playing field or we become stagnant and a few
companies will forever control the local economy and the wages paid in that
economy. Let’s stop putting in more and more taxpayer money to prop up a
Speak to your county commissioner and tell them to end this charade.