Letter: Scary thinking from county commission

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 26, 2007

From the “letters” fiasco that brought down the county manager to the infighting among both former and present commissioners, and finally to the just-rendered split-vote decision on Toyota’s desire to receive a legal tax abatement, I am amused and shocked at the thinking processes of some commissioners.

In my 30 years as a management consultant, teaching management courses for colleges and universities, and serving under both President Clinton’s and President Bush’s Department of Commerce as a national quality examiner, I recall nothing any more unbelievable than the fact that this commission almost denied Toyota’s request.

My consulting work has included inside activities at Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford and General Motors facilities. It is no surprise that Toyota, Honda and Nissan continue to do well here in the United States, while GM and Ford are struggling.

One commissioner comment indicated hoping that Toyota would bring more business and eventual prosperity to Rowan was not a good business strategy. Another commissioner indicated we should not be giving such a wealthy, successful firm any inducements. Both comments can foster grave concern on just who gets elected to these positions.

Ask the civic leaders in Lexington, Ky., or San Antonio, Texas, about the effects of Toyota locating there. Contact the leaders in Smyrna, Tenn., where Nissan located, or in Marysville, Ohio, where Honda operates, what they feel about their decisions to offer incentives.

I appreciate the willingness of each of these commissioners to serve. They have a difficult responsibility. I would ask the commissioners that in the future when a decision similar to the Toyota request has to be made, please consult resources with proven leadership and business experience whose names could include Fisher, Ketner, Hurley, Smith, etc., before making your decision.

Thankfully, the Economic Development Commission, Mr. Harrell and Rowan countians dodged a bullet.

— Dr. Douglas Anderson


Anderson is founder and former owner of The Anderson Consulting Group.