Those wavering commitments

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We share in the disappointment echoed by Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation Director Mark Buschkamp regarding the sad announcement this week that Harvest International was leaving Cherokee and moving to Storm Lake.

With a company that humbly began its operations in Cherokee three years ago, we have no qualms about it taking advantage of various incentives proffered by Storm Lake. After all, that is the way of the corporate world today, with businesses large and small using one community against the other to carve out the best deal to serve their own interests.

This community, including CAEDC, the Cherokee Industrial Corporation, Cherokee County, and the City of Cherokee, worked together to provide Harvest International with an impressive incentive package that, obviously and ultimately, was trumped by Storm Lake's offer.

The fact that the company has principal owners living in Storm Lake also undoubtedly came into play, possibly rendering futile all of Cherokee's efforts by CAEDC, CIC, the County and City, to convince Harvest International officials to stay in their start-up community that had so whole-heartedly embraced them.

Beyond that, excuses uttered about expansion opportunities ring hollow as there are, indeed, empty buildings, vacant lots, and many expansion possibilities for any company throughout Cherokee County.

Yes, we are troubled by the move for its negative economic impact on this community.

Yes, we deplore the loss of jobs the move generates.

Yes, we applaud the hard work of CAEDC, CIC, the County, and City for stepping up to the plate and taking a good swing at an obviously elusive target.

And, yes, we wonder if the Harvest International officials had their fingers crossed in 2007 when they pledged their allegiance and readily accepted the monetary incentives Cherokee then offered.

However, we remain firm believers in the "you gotta wanna" principle. That is, if you don't want to be here - for whatever reason - then it's probably time for you leave.