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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Reserve Your Seat

A cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in a posh New York City theatre. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered, “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”

The man didn’t budge. The usher became more impatient. “Sir, if you don’t get up from there, I’m going to have to call the manager.” No response.

The usher left and shortly returned with the manager. Together, they tried to move him, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police.

The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked, “All right buddy, what’s your name?”

“Pete,” the man moaned.

“Where’d ya come from, Pete?”

With pain in his voice, Pete replied, “The balcony.”

I never sit in the balcony but I do like movies, have written about one of my all-time favorite films previously. The film is called Money Ball.  Some background – The book & movie is based on the true story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, who has an epiphany that all of baseball’s 120 years of knowledge of how they build winning teams is wrong.

Here is a quote from Beane talking to his staff that clearly explains the situation the A’s are faced with “The problem we’re trying to solve is that – there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich. Boston has taken our kidneys, Yankees takin’ our heart and you guys are sittin’ around talkin’ the same old good body nonsense, like we’re selling jeans, like we’re looking for Fabio. We got to think differently.”

Like the Oakland As, Tama County is working under an unfair system.  We can’t keep trying to beat the larger cities in the Midwest that are so much bigger and better funded by playing their game.  Billy is right, to succeed we all need to think differently, playing their game when you’re at a big disadvantage.

How do we begin to think differently in Tama County? What can we do? Step one is the most basic – simply show up.

The main platform for Economic Development in Tama County to communicate face to face to the citizens is our quarterly Pitch & Build event. How many people attend out of our total population of 17,536? We have never had more than 25 people attend a single Pitch & Build. (Even the 25 number is a diluted number as it includes the presenters (6-7 in head count) and our loyal commission members 10-12).

The biggest challenge to economic growth here in Tama County is the lack of involvement. So what could grow the INVOLVEMENT? Simply put – people need to begin showing up – to be informed of what is going on in Economic Development.

If just 5 (five) members of the 13 (thirteen) communities of Tama County came a Pitch & Build and half of them brought their spouses – you would have a crowd of nearly 90 people attend (a good START).

SAVE THIS DATE ON YOUR CALENDAR Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. EVERYONE in Tama County needs to call our office 641-484-3108 and reserve your seat for this important event (and don’t worry we do not have a balcony at the Reinig Center).

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