Saturday, August 15, 2009

DeSoto officials grapple with economic development approaches

By Vickie Welborn • • August 3, 2009

MANSFIELD — If ever in the history of DeSoto Parish a united front needed to be presented to business prospects, it's now, many in the profession agree.

Getting there, though, is the source of much discussion lately. The shotgun approach to economic development that's been the past practice has come under scrutiny as parish, city and chamber officials find themselves at times overwhelmed with the volume of interest that's hit the parish in the past year.

The Haynesville Shale gets the credit — or the blame. No one is complaining, but the warp speed at which the activity has taken place opened eyes to the need to refocus efforts and get everyone headed in the same direction.

"We all need to be working together," DeSoto Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim May said.

Mansfield Mayor Curtis McCoy agreed: "It's better when a group can work together than separately. We've got some groups that want to work independently, and it doesn't work that way. Getting together and shooting for the same thing; that's cooperation, and it goes a long way."

The flaw that's been exposed is the mixed signals that have been given to some of the business prospects. And that's what some want to remedy. More here.

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