In today’s Star Tribune there was an article stating that the Itasca Project is going to spin off a new group to deal with regional economic development. The article also announced who was going to be the head person.
But from my view what was interesting about the article is the statement of the action of “raising millions of dollars from municipalities and local companies for a new regional development group.” Money contributed by the public/government to a private group. How will the public know that the contributions made to this new group will be in its best interest? Will there be accountability and transparency with the new group and its efforts?
The public has a fundamental right to take stock how public monies are spent and of the performance of any group that receives public funds. It seems this private group could take on a function like an economic development agency of a governmental unit. If that is the case it it important that the public are in the mix.
There needs to be assurances that public oversight is continued with this private group if there are public monies funding it. Oversight brings accountability and transparency.