Councilmen need to work together as one

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2003

Tribune Staff

At first glance an outsider might see problems ahead for the Ironton City Council. The issue of economic development and the creation of jobs seem to have the group split.

Last week in a split vote, the council agreed to table a resolution that would create an economic development director. It was the third time the resolution has come before the board in recent months. Three times the issue has been discussed and three times, council members are left in disagreement.

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Again, it might look like a problem to an outsider, but dig a little deeper and great potential emerges.

First, council members all agree that economic development and job creation are critical to the future. The differences arise from how and when to act.

One side, led by Councilman Jim Tordiff, wants immediate action. The other side wants to wait until the budget numbers are finalized to ensure the funds to support hiring a new city position exist.

What the two sides fail to realize is the great benefit of joining forces.

Think about it. Tordiff's passion on this issue and his determination are critical to the future of economic development. His "seize the moment" attitude can help cut through bureaucracy and get to the heart of an issue.

Conversely, Ironton cannot afford to spend foolishly. The city needs a few watchdogs that will guard the city coffers as though the money was their own.

Rather than continuing to sponsor the same resolution over and over again, council members should focus on points of agreement.

Only by beginning where opinions are shared can the council members begin to build a consensus on the issue.

The council's plan to hold a meeting to discuss the issue is a good place to start. Since all sides agree on a need for some focus on economic development, the issues need to be where the city is going, how it is going to get there and how it will be funded.

And those who are anxious to see action on the issue need to make sure that the meetings do not spiral down into inaction.

With all of the negativity in the region and the world, Ironton must be together on important issues and we see no better time to begin working together than today.