Thursday, December 14, 2017 22:46

Economic Damnation

I find it quite disconcerting that the Town of Clinton via the Board of Selectmen have given such little thought and action to the area of Economic Development. After the sudden departure of our last Community & Economic Development Director (Herein called Director) you would have thought it to be a clear wake up cal,l to hopefully spark a thorough study and to restore or redefine the position with the immediacy it deserved.

I believe the citizens of Clinton are really being cheated by the laissez faire attitude this important department and function have been given. The BOS has had since September 2nd 2010, the day Mr. Duff submitted his resignation to work on this and they have not done anything accept to give it lip service.

Look no further than the Town of Bolton, They have an Economic Development Committee that meets alongside their Town Planner. Why doesn’t our reactive BOS get off their keisters and do something proactive for a change. It’s not hard to start a committee (costs nothing accept advertising cost) and if formed our local talent could bring a lot of good data and ideas. Here is Bolton’s web page for reference.

http://www.townofbolton.com/Pages/BoltonMA_Economic/index

I couldn’t help but notice the billboard in Bolton center asking residents to fill out an economic development questionnaire. Could you imagine Clinton doing something proactive like that? I couldn’t even fathom it with the current cast of characters. They voted to raise the tax rate split, becoming one of the few towns in the state to have such a tremendously high over-taxation of local businesses , that’s in my opinion. So much for economic development, it’s more like economic suicide.

So combine the fact we’re in what the economic community calls the “red zone” with regard to economic development and anybody moving a business here. For instance, if a company in Marlboro is paying much more per square foot to lease a building and could move here (ala Scholastic Book) and save quite a bit of money, it would be eaten up by the immense tax burden incurred.

There was a concerted effort back when Scholastic moved here to lower this rate a few percent per year to help in locating business here. This was wholeheartedly welcomed by our then Director Don Lowe and Chamber of Commerce Director Megan McCaffery.  Now we have a BOS with a cavalier attitude toward the business community and could care less about attracting new business. Yes, It’s a sad state of affairs when your elected leaders don’t really care to expeditiously address something this important, something that has the ability to improve our tax base and therefore our quality of life in Clinton.

I will again mention that Selectmen Connolly and Sheridan did try to lower the tax rate split only to be rebuffed by Selectmen LeBlanc, Dickhaut and Sargent.

Just wondering where the complete Master Plan is? I believe it has information about economic development in it and has not been offered to the public that I’m aware of. I did find a master plan goals document that had some suggestions. Why aren’t these used at least as fodder for discussion between the BOS?

From the master plan goals document, there is an economic development fact sheet on clintonmass.com but it links to the master plan goals document. I’d like to read that too:

-Establish an Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC): marketing, acquisition/redevelopment of difficult sites.

-Reorganize rules, regulations and standards in commercial and industrial zones; emphasize quality.

-Adopt Chapter 43D, the Expedited Permitting Law; consolidate permitting procedures wherever possible, develop a permitting guide.

-Encourage commercial development of appropriate type, scale and appearance, considering surrounding land uses, setting and context

-Make fair, timely permitting decisions by publishing clear development standards and applying them consistently.

-Institute growth management policies that encourage infill development and reuse of existing buildings over new development in outlying areas of town


-Establish a full-time town planner position.


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4 Responses to “Economic Damnation”

  1. Mariah says:

    I find it amazing that this BOS have not done much at all. But ignoring the Economic Development Director position, is unbelievable. We need some major help to get some more business in town, but that doesn’t seem to be a priority for this board. If that isn’t…What is?

  2. Terry says:

    Hey, great job on keeping this subject and the tax split fresh in peoples minds. This board is so lethargic and inactive they don’t deserve to be our representatives. Why do people keep voting these do-nothings back into office.

    I haven’t forgotten the good job you and the others did when you were on the board and do miss the few years when we had a board that was actively pursuing revenue and new ideas.

    Thanks,
    Terry

  3. Tony Marini says:

    Leading our community isn’t just a dizzying mix of placating political special interests…like the unbelievable deference to the seniors and senior center or to the handful of folks opposed to the rifle range. It means taking the long view, and trying to determine what is best for the whole town. Chief in this determination is the business climate and the commercial viability of the town. With the onerous (to business) new tax split, the Select Board put a tacit “Closed For Business” sign at each road leading into town. Our geography and proximity to major highways makes Clinton a tough sell to businesses to begin with, and the unfavorable split makes a tough choice to relocate to Clinton a no-go situation for a business owner concerned with profitability.

    The short-sighted increase of the tax split definitely puts Clinton off limits for new businesses, and it is a stab in the back for businesses that recently located to town — like Scholastic and the new Thai restaurant. This idiotic move by our alleged town leaders was a slap in the face rather than a Thank You Very Much.

    The tax split situation proves that we must be very careful who we select to be our local elected representatives and leaders. Clinton politics is a crazy high school popularity contest — where who you know matters much, much more than what you know or what you do. If we are to thrive as a community, we need new blood and a repudiation of the BLOODSPORT politics as usual. I doubt we can because we’re Clinton and we’re different. Maybe when the snickering and chuckling from the surrounding towns becomes a deafening laugh at our inbred political antics we will finally reject the politics of the past and face the future with the very best interests of the town at the forefront of all of our minds.

  4. Boomer says:

    Can you imagine what a nice site the Green St factory complex would have been for Curt Schilling’s software company?

    Condos are always better. Lazy town administrators can put their feet up, collect the checks and dream of pensions spent in Florida…

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