“We've see it on a national level, and locally in Camden County, with banks in trouble, businesses closing, foreclosures, and no jobs. Camden County has been hit hard by the 'Great Recession.' Recovery has been slow. All of these economic problems were caused by incompetent government, coupled with the greed of special interest groups. These groups purchased government influence to create loopholes, and reap untold riches. Now, we are paying the price."
As the nation struggles to rebound from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, elected officials have the tough task of generating a productive business climate in a sluggish economy. Development has surged in eastern Osage Beach and in western Miller County, while things have gotten worse in west Osage Beach. Camdenton still sees a disproportionately high number of closed businesses and blighted districts were considered for parts of Sunrise Beach and Macks Creek as recently as a couple of years ago.
The task of fostering a thriving business environment is no doubt an arduous task, but what's still unclear is how Camden County can keep up with its neighbors and with its own cities.
What the candidates for presiding commissioner say: What can be done to foster economic development to sustain existing business and entice new businesses to locate in Camden County?
Challenger Greg Hasty says:
“We’ve see it on a national level, and locally in Camden County, with banks in trouble, businesses closing, foreclosures, and no jobs. Camden County has been hit hard by the ‘Great Recession.’ Recovery has been slow. All of these economic problems were caused by incompetent government, coupled with the greed of special interest groups. These groups purchased government influence to create loopholes, and reap untold riches. Now, we are paying the price.
“Locally, the crisis situations in Camden County created by bad government just keep coming. The Impact Minimization Zones, from the FERC in 2006, would have crushed the future growth of Camden County. The FERC project boundary issue of 2011-2012, threatened hundreds of homes, and gave lake real estate a black eye. The Key Largo interchange on Highway 54 is a classic example of government incompetence. Camden County Planning and Zoning has been front page news for years, with one disaster after another. The truth is, a lot of the problems we’ve had in Camden County over the last few years were the result of bad government. Bad government creates instability.
“What can be done to foster economic development, sustain existing business, and entice new business to Camden County?
“We need stable, competent government, actively working to restore our local economy. Real solutions are needed to make our economy thrive. As with everything else, the cost of government will increase, as prices for equipment and services increase. The only way out of increased taxes, or reduced services, is to create an environment for growth, and an expanding tax base. We need to identify and utilize all of our assets, and create a visionary future for our county. All of our local governments need to be working together. It’s my opinion, we have the ingredients to make Camden County the best place to work, live, and retire in the world.
“We need common sense leadership in Camden County with a vision for the future. Our location, railways, highway system, agriculture, as well as the lake, all have to be taken as a whole. We need to identify every asset we have, and work together to build a plan that will create growth for all. While planning, we must not forget who owns the land. Property owner’s rights need to be protected from government overreach. Competent planning, with respect for the property owner, is the most important thing we can do for the future of Camden County.
“The future is not ours. It belongs to our children and grandchildren. If you’ve been to any football game, basketball game, debate, or other school event, one thing stands out. Our kids are fierce competitors. Our young people can compete with any in the world. It’s a shame that many of them have to leave us, to seek good employment opportunities elsewhere. It doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s make opportunities for our kids at home with smart planning today.”