by Fred Kirby
On 2 September 2011, in an article titled “Holiday Buy Local program planned for Bay Area”, Business Editor Gail Elber wrote about a campaign organized by the Chamber of Commerce to encourage Coos County shoppers to spend money locally.
Perhaps that effort should commence with local government and quasi government organizations (city, county), that are spending local taxpayer’s money while operating under the direction of local elected officials – some aspiring to be elected or appointed to offices with greater exposure and responsibility. There is absolutely no reason, for example, why the Coos Bay North Bend Water Board should spend $12,000 of the taxpayer’s money at a Portland printer for the monthly billing post cards when there are local printers totally qualified to do the job that are desperately in need of business and struggling to keep their people employed. Competing bidder’s – local and out of the area – prices appear to be comparable. Perhaps local merchants should be allowed up to a 10% benefit in competitive bidding to assure that local merchants receive local taxpayer dollars at all possible times. The local economy will receive no benefit whatsoever by spending the taxpayers money in Portland or elsewhere outside of the area. Perhaps also, our elected officials should explain why they do not have a buy local (when possible) program in place now.