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Scoring The 1st Danville City Council Forum (Part #3)

All righty. We’re getting back up to speed with last week’s Danville City Council candidate forum. Part #1 & Part #2 are already published. We’re continuing with the third question asked.

If you need to remember how the scoring system works, we’ve covered that in Part #1 & Part #2. Let’s roll.

Question #3: (From Danielle Staub reading from a piece of paper) In years past, the city has spent millions of dollars in failed attempts to attract businesses. In hindsight, what would you do differently?

This was four years ago, and everything in the process has changed. Stupid-ass question. Danielle already knows the answer to that question because she covered it in her long-form WDBJ coverage that told us absolutely nothing that we didn’t already know multiple years ago. MUTE to Danielle for this question. Ugh. We’re going left to right, starting with Lee Vogler.

  • Lee Vogler: Already taken many steps. (+2) Problem was 4 to 5 years ago. (YES! +3). Outside vetting firm. (+2) New economic development director and city manager. (+3) Asked for monthly economic development updates and getting them (+3). Performance based incentives. (+2)
  • Robin Dabney: Evaluate and also assess (to evaluate IS also to assess, you know MUTE) the job skills and interests of residents. Incentives shouldn’t be from politicians or private investors, but community driven to look at their needs (What? MUTE). Develop education & strengthen workforce areas. Partner with schools to see what kind of programs that they have as opposed to graduating our students out into the community without any type of soft skills or workforce development skills. (What? MUTE) (Ugh. This was a question about economic development and Dabney was totally lost on this one.)
  • Larry Campbell: Lots of mistakes were made. (+3) Personnel was the #1 issue and has been corrected. (+3) Closely evaluating startup businesses. Want a track record before money is given. Some losses, but way more wins. (+3) Focus to cut down on losing ventures. (+2)
  • Jim Lindley: Look at return on investment. (+2) There used to be a time when businesses wanted to come to Danville. (That’s still happening NOW. MUTE) Need to have a united community without division. (+2)
  • Philip Haley: Believes in creating incentives to bring new business & industries. (+3) Previous bad mistakes. (+2) City Council needs to ask the tough questions. (+2) Mistakes that were made should never have been made to start with. (+2) (Jessica Griffith says “Wow”. Bad form. If you’re moderating, stay neutral. MUTE to Jessica for that.)
  • Trina McLaughlin: Some decisions were “accept anything for jobs”. (+3) Small business focus. (+2) Talked to small business owner who has a problem with the demand charge on his electric bill. (What? MUTE) Could move to the county and wouldn’t have demand charge. (Yes, they would on a commercial account. MUTE) The mall kicked out local businesses, why did that happen? (I don’t know, but that’s a private business decision for them to make. Even if it’s a stupid one, it’s definitely not city council related one bit. MUTE). (Swing and a big miss on this one. Ugh.)
  • Sheila Baynes: Danville has the worst track record on this in the state. Six companies are Job Busts. Mistakes were made in the vetting process (+3). (50 seconds of “what we already know”. Ugh again.)
  • Thomas Motley: Statistical data supports working with small businesses. (+2) Need to help minority businesses thrive (No, ALL businesses. MUTE). Invest in education. (+2)
  • Madison Whittle: Would ask for last three years tax returns. (+2) Personally aided in bringing 26 new businesses to the area. (+3)
  • Sherman Saunders: Danville not the only city that made mistakes, but no excuse (+3). New personnel, new policies. (+3) Must take calculated risks. (+3) Economic development continues to be risky. (+3)

Yowtch. Eight hits on the MUTE button on that question. The incumbents had a natural advantage on that question, and it showed. Let’s look at the scoreboard after Question #3.

Question #4 is coming up next on SouthsideCentral!

4 comments to Scoring The 1st Danville City Council Forum (Part #3)


    One of the main players is still on the city’s business recruitment consulting staff and still getting the big $$$$. So why do some of the above claim new personnel in place. There is one new person but the one pulling in the big bucks was instrumental in bringing job busts to Danville.


    SC, you are doing a great job with scoring and keeping us informed on those running for counsel. Thank you.

  • Jerome Holman

    Bruce I am near the point of being truly impressed with your work. You have been on-point so much so lately, I wouldn’t recognize, (if not for your brand of writing style.) So I will acknowledge with a bit of humor, and candor, perhaps you’re not the “Donald” of blogs after all. lol Looking forward to the remainder of the series.

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