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Letter: Letter writer Bob Enos is misinformed

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In his letter of Feb. 25, Bob Enos once again proves his to be a voice not to be taken seriously on matters of economic development, and he continues to demean the role of agriculture in our local economy.

It may interest him to know that agriculture in Kandiyohi County has a half-billion-dollar impact when measuring sales of agricultural products and livestock, and that ag processing provides nearly 2,000 jobs in Kandiyohi County. Or that Willmar is home to the largest turkey processor/marketer in the world, as well as the world’s largest turkey hatching company, and to one of the nation’s largest two-year agricultural schools.

Mr. Enos could learn these important facts by looking over the Kandiyohi County/City of Willmar Economic Development website. In fact, since he is a member of the EDC Operations Board, he should perhaps take time to learn some of these pesky things we call facts out here.

Factually, on Oct. 21, 2013, the Willmar City Council accepted the recommendation of its Community Development Committee in regards to a land write-down policy. The council minutes indicate that the “real value of the land lies in its ability to grow jobs and tax base.” The minutes also indicate that this policy is “a competitive necessity.”

This action by the council reasonably means that Mr. Enos’s accusations of incompetence or worse on the part of city staff in his letter is silly at best, and irresponsible on its face.

Further, at the May 6, 2013, council meeting, the council set a wage floor of $12 per hour “for jobs created by businesses receiving business subsidies.”

So, one could reasonably infer by his letter that Mr. Enos desires to halt economic development by a long-time corporate employer in the city, and in doing so, wishes to prevent the creation of good paying jobs, as well as a much-needed expansion of the tax base.

His is a fundamental misunderstanding of the tools used by cities and other local governments to enable economic growth in the 21st century. Pity the candidate this fall who follows Mr. Enos’s economic advice.

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