As if Waynesboro actually appreciates business

waynesboroWaynesboro City Council has proclaimed May as Business Appreciation Month. Only if the City Council actually would appreciate business.

“We appreciate the essential role our business community provides in strengthening our city through innovation, job creation, and investment,” Mayor Bruce Allen was quoted in a press release from the city economic development office.

Except that the city seems hell-bent on doing everything it can to stifle business development. The building and inspections office is practically running business out of town with the abundance of red tape it injects into business projects.

And then there’s how the City Council itself is pulling shenanigans like the recent one with the Wayne Theatre, which dotted its i’s, crossed its t’s, and still had the city back out on its end of a $700,000 economic development deal.

But by all means, let’s report on how the City Council, at its Monday meeting, is celebrating May 8-14 as Economic Development Week, and 2016 as “The Year of the Economic Developer.”

And here, for posterity, is a canned quote from Barry Matherly, the chair of the International Economic Development Council.

“We are so pleased that Waynesboro is helping to celebrate the profession and the professionals that work hard to create opportunity for all citizens and their communities,” Matherly said.

Those of us who live and own actual real-life small businesses in Waynesboro are more pleased that the sliver of voters who went out to the polls for last week’s city elections rejected the bass-ackwards approach of the current leadership.

Allen, running against token opposition, won a third term to the City Council with his smallest vote percentage yet, and voters gave overwhelming majorities to Elzena Anderson and Terry Short, who both touted their support for the continuation of the Wayne Theatre economic development agreement in their campaigns.

July 1 cannot come soon enough, to be sure. The usual gang of idiots is running short on time to their end of stifling business and job growth in our fair city.

Maybe we could postpone this Business Appreciation Month crap until the summer in the meantime.

Column by Chris Graham  

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