As the City of Franklin is continuing to look at its options for the future of the Economic Development Commission, the newly-formed and Franklin-based Citizens for Community Development (CCD) saw a potential opportunity that the city could take advantage of. Due to its mission and the concepts and goals the organization is persuing, its Board of Directors reached out to the Common Council with a proposal to essentially create a public-private entity for the City of Franklin with the primary goal of encouraging economic development and growth.
Being the organization's President, I believe such a partnership can be very successful. Being an independent and private organization, CCD can make decisions very quickly. We also can be extremely flexible in terms of needing to execute options and plans or make rapid responses, whereas the common argument against big government is that things tend to slow down and get mired in politics.
CCD's proposal before the Council was to basically be an initial "Olive Branch", informing the Council that (a) we're interested and (b) we're already open to modifying our organization's Bylaws to allow city-appointees to be voting members on our Board of Directors. In the letter, it stated that CCD would be open to "up to 2" individuals being appointed to the Board, with the belief that these two would likely be aldermanic appointments. However, that would have been up to the Common Council and Mayor.
After the very positive discussion about what we can do (rather than what we can't), I have the belief that if the city came back to CCD with a variation of the proposal that CCD's Board would look at it in a very positive manner. In the beginning of crafting this proposal, it was originally believed that CCD, via the appointments to the Board, would report directly to the Council if updates were needed to be given. However, that can always be modified or changed depending on what was decided upon by the Council.
I want to close this with saying, as the CCD President that was very pleased with the conversation and ideas that bounced around at the Committee of the Whole meeting last night, that the Council continues to view our proposal as a good option with worthy consideration.
You can learn more about CCD by going to www.ccdfranklin.com.