Presidential vote called key for economic development | nnbw.com
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Presidential vote called key for economic development

JOHN SEELMEYER

As a one-time appointee in the Reagan administration, Jeff Finkle acknowledges it pains him that Democratic administrations generally are more helpful to economic development efforts.

But the president and chief executive officer of the International Economic Development Council who is scheduled to speak in Reno shortly after the presidential election says Democratic administrations have provided more grants and loan programs for local economic development efforts.

Finkle will be the featured speaker at the 20th Annual Governor’s Industry Appreciation Awards in Sparks Nov.

9.

The event is hosted by the Economic Development Authority ofWestern Nevada and the Northern Nevada Development Authority.

Coming only a week after the presidential election, Finkle’s speech is expected to focus on the effects of the election on economic development.

The Bush administration, he said in a telephone interview last week, has taken a handsoff approach to management of the economy.

“They’ve tried to do a number of macro things that haven’t been terribly successful tax cuts, trying to keep the dollar down, jawboning Alan Greenspan to keep interest rates down,” Finkle said.

On the other hand, he said a Kerry administration probably would be more inclined to get involved in the small details of the national economy through greater use of Small Business Administration lending or community development grants.

“We would have more tools in our tool kit,” Finkle said.

The economic development official knows a lot about those tools.

He was a deputy assistant secretary for community planning and development in the U.S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development before moving to the private sector.

He oversaw HUD efforts in community development grants and housing rehabilitation from 1981-1986 for the Reagan administration.

As head of the nation’s largest economic development group, Finkle said communities that thrive are those in which the leadership business leaders as well as political leaders are engaged with the process of economic development.

“I will take an entrepreneurial leader any day of the week over the advantages in natural resources a community might have,” he said.

Tickets for the governor’s dinner $125 a person, $1,250 for a table of 10 are available through EDAWN, 829-3700 or edawn.org.