One of the things the tri-county region has agreed on is the value of bringing new jobs and economic investments to the area.
Indeed, it's one of the things people across the state seem to have in common. New jobs and industry have benefits far beyond the individual counties where they are located.
So it's important that the Charleston Regional Development Alliance begin immediately to heal rifts that are developing among its supporting governments throughout Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.
Given that all of them have similar goals, solutions should be attainable.
It seems that the CRDA, whose staff handles complex negotiations in an effort to recruit new jobs and industries to the Lowcountry, is not handling its supporters as well as they'd like. Or at least communication between CRDA and those governments is strained.
Dorchester County Council, which gave CRDA $173,000 last year, plans to give only $50,000 this year. Members question if they're getting their money's worth.
Charleston County Council usually gives $500,000, but some council members want county staff to play a larger role in recruiting.
And some on Berkeley County Council said CRDA can do a lot more than it does now.
It's time for CRDA to gather its partners together and find some answers.
The numbers CRDA produces are impressive:
? 27,500 new jobs and $7.5 billion in capital investment in the tri-county area from 251 new or expanding companies since 1995.
? 1,080 direct jobs and more than $769 million in capital investment in Dorchester from 2004 to 2013
? 2,990 direct jobs and more than $1.9 billion in capital investment from 2004-2013 for Berkeley County.
? And 8,418 direct jobs in the same time period in Charleston County with nearly $1.8 billion in capital investment, not including Boeing.
The process of recruiting industries is usually kept under the public's radar. Business people want it that way. So it is difficult to say how much CRDA is responsible for and how much credit goes to others.
But it is safe to assume that a business executive would be more open to a place with regional cooperation than one where different governments and agencies are competing or bumping into each other in the process. It is easier and more efficient to go to an umbrella organization like CRDA that can get things moving in the right direction and then turn over the process to Dorchester County or the city of North Charleston, for example.
County councils are elected to represent their constituents, but businesses are looking for the best deals, whether it is in one county or another - or both.
CRDA can help businesses navigate those divisions. Without such an organization, the company's work would double or triple, and the prospects of their locating here would dim.
And since most agree that attracting quality jobs and investment to the Lowcountry is a good thing, the CRDA and its partners need to find a way to work as a team.
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