This week the final report of the KEDCO review committee was released to the public. The report contains a large number of recommendations and proposes some significant changes moving forward. Here’s a brief overview of what the report is proposing:
- Separate into two organizations: KEDCO would be replaced with two separate arms’ length organizations: Tourism Kingston and a new, rebranded economic development organization (EDO). Both organizations would have distinct missions with separate boards.
- Establish a new funding relationship with the city: where funding for both Tourism Kingston and the new EDO would be tied to specific activities and outcomes to be reviewed each year at budget time.
- Enhance public involvement and direct engagement: more visible and accessible locations would be explored for both Tourism Kingston and the EDO. More public input would be encouraged through new approaches, such as regular open houses and town halls.
- Establish a transparency plan: this would include permanent ‘transparency and accountability’ committees for both Tourism Kingston and the EDO and immediate changes including making annual financial and performance reports for both organizations publicly available.
- Repositioning the EDO to capitalize on emerging innovation and entrepreneurs: more effort would be focused on taking advantage of Kingston’s existing research and post-secondary assets to foster entrepreneurship and the emerging technologies economy.
There are of course a lot of additional details contained in the 80 page report and for those who are interested you can read the entire report HERE
There will be a formal presentation of the report at our June 21 Council meeting. Following the Council meeting I’m looking forward to consulting with stakeholders from across the community before we take any further steps. Economic development is of critical importance to our community, and now is the time to set the stage for job creation, investment and the future prosperity of Kingston.