The number of economic development agencies operating in Sheridan County and throughout the state has gotten out of hand. We all want to see coffers grow for entrepreneurs and residents. But, when do those organizations outnumber the reasons for having them in the first place? When do the missions overlap to the point of redundancy?
It seems, that time is now.
While each agency involved has a worthy mission, they are not equally effective in their execution. Their budgets, some primarily supported by taxpayer dollars, have swelled, with few accomplishments to tout.
The time has come for those organizations to take a breath and regroup. We applaud the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s leadership team for indicating its plans to initiate just such a conversation among entities such as Forward Sheridan, Downtown Sheridan Association, North Main Association and local governments.
If members and directors of all groups can set egos aside, much could be accomplished for the county, and in a more efficient manner. Fewer groups working toward the same goal could mean fewer executive director salaries, less funding going toward operations and more funding directed at recruitment and expansion.
Tough choices will need to be made regarding which organizations lead the charge and which step aside.
We can only hope that all involved keep the community’s interest — rather than their own — at the forefront.