Urgent action needed today- your budget at risk

The letter below was sent Tuesday, July 23, 2002 to each of the Montana Certified Communities Lead Development Organizations regarding the potential loss of funding during the upcoming Special
Session of the Legislature.

MEDA’s Board of Directors would encourage you to add your voice on this important issue regarding local economic development funding.

Thank you in advance for your time,

Paul Tuss
MEDA President

The undersigned representatives of Certified Community Lead Development Organizations want to alert you to proposed actions that could endanger your receipt of state matching funds through the Certified
Communities Program in the next year.

The Martz Administration is proposing the elimination of funding for Certified Communities 2003, as well as cuts in funding for other economic development programs supported by the legislature during the
2000 Special and Regular Sessions. We believe the elimination of any of that support is ill conceived. We believe it jeopardizes the future economic viability in the state.

This proposal will eliminate Certified Communities funding and negatively impact both your budget and your programs for FY 2003.

For that reason, we are informing you of the following actions which we are all undertaking. If you feel that this Administration proposal is ill-advised, you may want to pursue the actions outlined below to
attempt to reverse the situation.

Send an email (or fax) to Governor Judy Martz, Lt. Governor Karl Ohs, Commerce Director Mark Simonich, and Economic Development Chief Business Officer David Gibson apprising them of our position
(points outlined below).

Send a similar message by the most expeditious means possible to your area Legislator(s).
Alert the members of your Board of Directors and other local economic development supporters including locally elected officials.

If you agree to follow the above actions, we urge you to use some of the following ideas in your communication. Multiple communications from you and your organization – from board members, local leaders
and legislators – will be effective.

Items to be included in the message:

Economic development is the long-term solution to the state’s economic and tax crises and cutting economic development is a self-defeating proposition.

Economic development requires strong action on the part of both the state government and the local economic development organizations. Both are needed. We cannot afford to reduce the effort at
either level.

Certified Community funding is part of an agreement to expand economic development at both the state and local level. That agreement was for five years of funding, though we all preferred ten, as
economic development is a long-term proposition. That agreement is now being breached and such actions should not be taken.

Assertions that Certified Communities money will not be missed because it sometimes comes in small amounts does not make that money unappreciated or ineffective at the local level. Even the
smallest amount can represent a significant amount of a local organization’s budget and the loss of funds will have significant negative impact.

We support economic development completely, including:

i. Governor’s Office,

ii. Department of Commerce,

iii. Vision 2000 Agricultural Programs,

iv. Research and Commercialization endeavors, and

v. Certified Communities and local economic development efforts.

As Certified Communities, we oppose any efforts to cut spending in any of these areas including those that would cut the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. We believe that local economic
development, through Certified Communities, deserves a similar commitment.

Immediate communication is necessary before this decision becomes cast in concrete – PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY!!!

Email addresses and/or faxes:

Governor Judy Martz (fax) 406.444.4648

Lt. Governor Karl Ohs (fax) 406.444.4648 and email Steve Snezek [email protected]

Commerce Director Mark Simonich (fax) 406.841.2701 [email protected]

Office of Economic Opportunity Director Dave Gibson (fax) 406.444.3674 [email protected]

For legislator email, phone or addresses click this hotlink

Communication signed by:

Anne Boothe, PhillCo (Malta/Phillips County)

Joni Stewart, GAIN (Cut Bank/Glacier County)

Tom McKerlick, Miles City Area Economic Development Council (Custer County)

Paul Tuss, Bear Paw Development (Hill, Choteau, Liberty and Blaine Counties)

Cheryl MacArthur, Great Falls Development Corp. (Cascade County)

Jim Davison, Anaconda Local Development Corp. (Deer Lodge County)

Luanne Belcourt, Chippewa Cree Community Development Corp. (Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation)

Sheldon Bartel, Gateway Economic Development (Lewis and Clark County)

Bernice Hash, Billings Area Chamber of Commerce

Evan Barrett, Butte Local Development Corp.(Silver Bow County)

Dick King, Missoula Area Economic Development Corp. (Missoula County)

Alicia Bradshaw, Gallatin Development Corp. (Gallatin County)

Liz Harris, JOBS Now, Inc. (Flathead County)

Scott Mendenhall, Jefferson (County) Local Development Corp.

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