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August 8, 2012

LEDF agreement a great first step

City leaders have apparently reached agreement with the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation on a change in the makeup of that organization’s board of directors.

That’s great news.

The City Council tabled action Monday on a measure aimed at forcing the foundation to restructure its board or face the loss of nearly $90,000 in city funding.

Members of the board’s executive committee met Monday morning and emerged with what officials described in a joint announcement as a preliminary consensus.

Dave Arnold, the Cass County commissioners president, and Patricia Hammons, chairwoman of the LEDF board of directors, joined Mayor Ted Franklin in issuing a joint statement. Without going into details, the statement said the board would be smaller while still maintaining the public-private sector partnership the foundation has enjoyed in the past.

The statement indicated that the board’s new makeup would be considered by LEDF’s current 21-member board before the end of the month.

The ordinance the council had been considering would have restructured LEDF’s board to include the mayor, a Logansport councilman, a Cass County commissioner, a county councilman, the superintendent of Logansport Municipal Utilities and two representatives of the local business community.

Advocates of the change felt the new lineup would have better represented local taxpayers, but critics were concerned that the change would have diminished the voice of local businesses in an entity that relies on those businesses for support.

It was great to see the two sides work things out.

It’s critical that everyone involved in Cass County’s economic development effort be working from the same playbook. We don’t need the city going in one direction and the county and LEDF going another.

With luck, this agreement will move the city and county toward the unified economic development effort this community so desperately needs.

We should all be working to develop an atmosphere in Logansport and Cass County that will help existing businesses to thrive and encourage new businesses to consider our community for new ventures.

We won’t get there by bickering over details. We get there by adopting a shared vision and by working together, hand in hand toward a common goal.

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