He noted that the ordinance now on the books called for LEDF to be the city’s lead agency in economic development matters. The ordinance put forward by Bishop, he said, gives city government that role.
At the same meeting where it approved Bishop’s proposed ordinance, the city council also approved $130,000 for economic development efforts spearheaded by Franklin and two consulting companies.
“When I first ran for mayor, I campaigned on the fact that I thought the city should have its own economic development effort,” he said. “I still think that. If businesses don’t want to work through LEDF, they should have the option of working directly with the city.”
Aside from paying the consultants’ retainers, Franklin has been vague about how the $130,000 the council allocated will be spent.
He indicated, though, that good news might be on the horizon.
“I hope so,” he said. “I hope we’ll have an announcement soon.”
He declined, though, to offer any guarantees.
“It’s a crapshoot, really,” he said. “You just never know what’s going to happen, but if you don’t throw the dice, you don’t have a chance.”
• Kelly Hawes is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5155 or email@example.com.