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Our Opinion: A good split

September 19, 2001

The boards of the Brawley Chamber of Commerce and the Brawley Economic Development Commission should be lauded for their recent decision to create a separate executive director position for each agency. In the past both boards have been served by one director, and to serve two boards is asking a lot of anyone.

We see a key division between the goals of the agencies and as such each needs its own executive director. If each agency is doing what it needs to do, it only makes sense that each has its own director.

First, the chamber needs to focus on promoting the growth of the Brawley downtown, which has seen its share of problems, specifically with vacancies. There is hope in the form of the California Main Street Program designation the chamber and business leaders are seeking from the state. It is going to take a lot of work to bring that to fruition. The chamber also has to involve itself in promoting and serving the needs of businesses throughout the city.

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The BEDC also promotes growth, but it should be working closely with the city to lobby for the needs of the city in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. The BEDC should be going beyond the borders of the Imperial Valley and attracting new development, whether residential, commercial or industrial. Again, it is a great task that will require a full-time person.

That said, there is one benefit of having one executive director running both agencies. It allows for communication and the proper sharing of resources to reach the final goal of bringing development. We don't want to see that communication suffer. While there will be two executive directors, they will have to work closely to form a united effort. We think that will happen.

We also would like to wish Nicole Gilles the best of luck as the chamber director. She has a tough job ahead, but she knows the city and the Valley and can help lead the chamber in its key role in business development.

Under her leadership and the leadership of the board, we hope to see Brawley's Main Street become a centerpoint of the North County and the entire Valley. It will take time, it will take a commitment of businesses and city leaders, but it can happen.

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