In The News › Gill’s column off-base on service-minded board

Sep 30, 2007

Source: Times-Picayune

Gill’s column off-base on service-minded board

Gill’s column off-base on service-minded board
Sunday, September 30, 2007

Re: “Fat-cat welfare board tired of the whining,” Other Opinions, Sept. 21.

James Gill’s recent article on the Industrial Development Board and chairman Jim Thorns is off-base.

The Times-Picayune likes to quote the Bureau of Government Research reports as if they are Supreme Court opinions. BGR is nothing more than a special interest group. Their latest opinion refers to the IDB as an “unelected” body. Who elected the BGR?

Every member of our board is a non-paid volunteer appointed by a City Council member or the mayor, all elected officials. The BGR is a self-appointed “good government” group. I can refer to myself as a great singer. It doesn’t change the fact that I can’t carry a tune.

James Gill seems to delight in cute catch phrases, but it is painfully obvious from reading his column that he doesn’t have a clue about what actually goes on at the IDB (not surprising, since I’ve never seen him at a meeting).

He refers to the IDB approving “applications for another $1 billion.” What we actually did on that occasion was give preliminary approval to $1 billion in projects.

That preliminary approval is non-binding on the board; it commits us to nothing. It simply allows developers to begin the process with the State Bond Commission, and it signals the start of our due diligence efforts to determine if the project is one we should approve. We require an analysis on every project to determine whether the costs to the city outweigh the benefits.

Finally, I will put Jim Thorns’ record of dedication and service to this community up against Mr. Gill’s any place, any time.

Let Mr. Gill sit in his ivory tower and opine on all that is wrong with the city.

I will be over at the IDB with Jim Thorns and the rest of my board members, trying to get something done.

Tyrone A. Wilson

Member

Industrial Development Board

New Orleans

Sep 30, 2007

Source: Times-Picayune

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