Time to say goodbye to economic development in Beaufort County?

Update May 18: The Island Packet has chimed in with its own thoughts in an opinion column.

The general thrust seems to be three-fold: Kudos to the county for not bailing out the Lowcountry Economic Network, the network should have known the commerce park was a bad idea, and let the network fold if it must and, if it does, step back and reassess if and how economic development is necessary in the county. 

All defensible positions, but it's unfortunate that some of their points are so bereft of linked-to or explained backup.

Read all the paper's thoughts here.

First reporting May 15: The next steps in the foreclosure of the Beaufort Commerce Park are unfolding without much surprise.

With the Lowcountry Economic Network appearing to be on the line for some three-quarters of a million dollars in a deficiency judgment, preparations are underway to dissolve the group by as early as June, and, thankfully, the county has backed off ludicrous remarks to reform the network in the same way and is expecting to dodge the deficiency judgment.

The Island Packet has a solid report on what's up; read it here.

Assuming the network does resolve, it will put the county in quite a position: It may well be unable to restart economic development efforts.

Not only does the county now have many residents who are jaded against the term "economic development," but a deficiency judgment could well fall to the next economic development group to set up shop. 

It's a duo that could prevent effective economic development for years to come.

With that thinking, the scenario that cooler heads have been advocating all along becomes clearer, this wasn't a vote to buy a commerce park; this was a vote on whether or not the county thought it was worth having an economic development group.

Since county council voted no, it may well have to make peace with its decision and Beaufort County may well stay largely dependent on the military and tourism for local dollars.