Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
Neither For Nor Against LD 465,
“An Act To Provide Efficient Delivery of Economic Development Services”
March 22, 2011
Senator Rector, Representative Prescott and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine (GSM) is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character, and enhance our state's quality places. I regret that previously scheduled commitments prevent me or other GSM representatives to present this testimony at today’s Public Hearing.
As we seek efficiency in government, outlined in the recently published study “Reinventing Maine Government”, which was commissioned by GrowSmart Maine, the focus must be on effective outcomes; i.e. results. While the variety of resources available may seem overwhelming at first glance, it is important to note that a coordinated effort already exists among the different economic development tools available. Rather than "centralize and consolidate", which risks moving programs away from those who deal directly with clients, GSM believes that attention to better coordination and collaboration has more value and urges the committee to consider this line of reasoning when contemplating the concepts proposed in LD 465. While we are in favor of proposals that seek to further sustainable economic development for all parts of the state, we strongly favor approaches that maximize the collaboration of existing programs that are already working effectively.
Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s position on LD 465.