It Is Not Just The Subsidy. It Is The Love. / Facebook Post, Whatcom Hawk, Wendy Harris

whatcom hawkYesterday at 2:16am  September 24, 2015  Wendy Harris

How about we end the night with a sweet and touching love letter.. bring out those hankies, folks.

Now, it is not an ordinary love story…. the kind between a man and a woman (or a man and a man or woman and a woman) or between a parent and child, or even a pet owner and their beloved pet. No. The most precious love of all is between a mayor and her business community.

The first page of the new strategic action plan for economic development was just listed on the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting. The document itself is a thing of beauty. I can only imagine what would happen if the Mayor applied even half that energy to environmental issues, instead of actively destroying habitat corridors and rare pocket beaches.

The first page of the plan is a letter from the Mayor:

I am proud to be the Mayor of this great city. Bellingham is known for its small city flavor with big city amenities, smart and creative citizens, and easy access to leisure opportunities. One of my top priorities is to support and grow our business community, so we can continue to offer wonderful job and investment opportunities, as well as afford top notch amenities and services.

Investing in the elements that contribute to our quality of life – outdoor recreation, environmental protection, vibrancy of the City Center, arts and cultural resources, public health and safety, etc. – is an important economic development role for the City of Bellingham. But it is not the only role. The City is responsible for providing enough available land and infrastructure to support the needs of businesses that want to grow or start here, as well as excellent and efficient services that keep businesses moving when they’re in transition.

This commitment was demonstrated when we worked with Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookies to help them grow Downtown, near where they started. Or when Index Sensors & Controls relocated their manufacturing business to the Fairhaven District, partially due to our fantastic amenities and welcoming business environment. Or when the City committed to constructing the roads, utilities, parks and other infrastructure to support redevelopment of our abandoned industrial waterfront.

A successful regional economy also requires partnerships with Whatcom County and its small cities; Western Washington University and other educational institutions; business leaders; workforce training agencies; innovators and funders; and all the connections in between. Bellingham is fortunate to have government leaders that work together to create a great place to do business.

Bellingham is a success story. We are home to some of the best innovators and collaborators on this planet. This document outlines how we intend to keep them here, and invite others who wish to be a part of this dynamic, sustainable economy.

Mayor Kelli Linville

Read Wendy’s post on the Whatcom Hawk Facebook page here.

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