Partnership is a good idea, one that needs to become a reality

Published 9:28 am Friday, March 24, 2017

The proposed creation of the Partnership, which is the formation of a nine-member board to be the advisory body for new economic development director Pablo Diaz, is a good idea. It is a simple plan that gives Diaz one voice to listen and one group to hold him accountable.

While simple, though, the plan approved by the boards of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, the Port Commission and the Economic Development Foundation is not so cut and dry.

As chamber president Mark Buys said Monday evening, after his board unanimously approved creation of the Partnership board, the plan has some legal speed bumps that must first be crossed.

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Apparently, in a world where common sense and good ideas are often difficult to come by, such speed bumps create ways to stop such ideas from becoming a reality.

The proposed Partnership board would include two members from the chamber’s board, two from the foundation’s board and all five members of the port commission.

It is that idea — that a board of some kind could override the power of an appointed port commission — is from where some of the questions are derived.

We know legal minds are working behind the scenes to make this board become a reality, and it is our understanding the boards of the chamber and foundation would not lose any authority over their current responsibilities.

But for the sake of Diaz and his ability to do what he is hired to do, a single board in charge of his work is important, and, we believe, crucial to his success.

Could you imagine having three different groups, three different boards, dozens of individuals to which to answer? Neither could we.

At times throughout the process of the merger of these groups, under one director, we were skeptical. We are no longer skeptical. We are all in.

It is our opinion from just a few conversations with Diaz, and reviewing the successes he has had in Grenada and elsewhere in his career, that — if given the tools to succeed here in Vicksburg — he will continue his successful track record.

We understand ever “t” must be crossed and every “i” dotted. It is important everything be in order.

But Vicksburg and Warren County are open for business and ready to work.