Most of the questions and discussion at our recent Legislation Matters panel with Greenwood City leaders focused on balanced budgets and about various city amenities being revenue neutral. As business leaders, revenue generation is a natural path of discourse in our daily lives. We strive to minimize and allocate overhead to our revenue centers in order to maximize profits. It’s natural, therefore, we expect government to do the same.
It wasn’t until later in the panel discussion when one panelist reminded us of this: the City’s role is to provide attractive amenities and services, and to create and maintain proper infrastructure, in order to enhance the quality of life and attract economic development.
In essence, most of the City’s product is overhead or investment for future growth.
The panelist continued: as long as we are prudent with our resources (responsibly investing them back into community development priorities), and we balance the budget’s bottom line (not spending more than we take in), we should not expect every service and amenity to be revenue neutral. Parks and recreation is a perfect example of this.
The business community knows part of Greenwood’s community development challenges were caused by a race to the bottom; an effort to take in and spend as little as possible. As a result, community amenities and infrastructure didn’t keep up with growth, and even deteriorated. With responsible planning, careful stewardship, and fidelity to their vision for a better Greenwood, City leaders should continue to invest in Greenwood.
The Chamber is actively engaged in the discussion. Our business advocacy council is particularly engaged in streamlining the process to create a business in Greenwood. As successful business leaders, your individual feedback and participation is needed, too.
Thank you for your membership in this community of confident, visionary business leaders.