Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 218
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for December 11, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

I see that the Warrensburg Area Economic Development Corporation (WAEDC) had an annual meeting and elected new officers. It appears that they were unable to approve a budget for next year because they donít have a current bank statement. That piqued my interest; generally, one doesnít need a bank statement to know how one is doing financially Ė that is, if one is keeping the books properly.

We know that the WAEDC is involved in trying to get new business and industry to come to the area. We see a couple of cars toodling around town with WAEDC on their plates. But exactly what is WAEDC? What does it do? How much money does it spend? Where does its money come from? Is it a governmental body or a private corporation? If the latter, is it a ďquasi-public governmental bodyĒ within the meaning of the Sunshine Law?

I did a bit of research in the Missouri Revised Statutes and was unable to identify exactly which statute applied to this sort of outfit. Consequently, I didnít find anything out about what its powers are. Can it grant tax credits? If so, what credits has it granted? Does it have the power of eminent domain? If so, has it used the power? I, as a private citizen, donít even know what other questions need to be asked.

Weíve had so many instances of area boards, both non-profit and public, not exercising proper financial oversight, that I guess Iím a bit leery of any hint of such in published reports. Iím also leery of government meddling in the marketplace, and Iíd like to know a lot more about the WAEDC.

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