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Chris Collins plays politics with economic development

Getting Kathy Konst to take the job that includes responsibility for economic development may be a good political move by Chris Collins, but I fail to see how it advances the county executive's professed desire to bolster the local economy, which he has pegged as Job One for his administration this year.

I mean, is the county's top economic development position really a place for on-the-job training?

Read Konst's bio on the county Web site and you learn that her background, beyond politics, is largely in education, marketing and public relations. Oh, and she's big on family values.

Yeah, she's also head of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, but I think that doesn't count for much. Going from a town chamber to commissioner of environment and planning is kind of like jumping from AA-minor league ball to the major leagues. Usually, some seasoning is called for. 

Making the jump may be OK in a community that has a vibrant economy, but this is Buffalo. The place is beyond dysfunctional when it comes to economic development, and adding a player feeling her way along does not help. We're far removed from the days when a Rich Tobe occupied the job.

Beyond that, the move is so transparently political.

The timing of Konst's appointment, and therefore resignation from the County Legislature in an election year, leaves the Democrats in the lurch and improves the odds that the Republicans will pick up one of the seats that Collins is craving.

Yeah, all is fair in love, war and politics. But, given the county's executive desire to quarterback the region's economic recovery, I have to wonder why he's handing the ball off to a second-stringer.

All I can say is it's a good thing Chris Collins isn't political.

For another take, check out what the Buffalo Pundit has to say.


Economic Development | Local Government | Politics
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