From the assistant editor

Get a good one

Wed, 03/22/2023 - 8:45am

At press time, it was not yet known if Wiscasset selectmen will ask voters to fund an economic development director. Town Manager Dennis Simmons’ proposal to add the job would be a tall ask as town costs for personnel and other areas rise; but it would be worth trying if the town pays enough to attract the best candidates.

Wiscasset is seeing some growth even without the planner job voters nixed years ago. Senior housing is ahead for the old primary school, and clicks on the candy store announcement we have had online since March 16 were, within five days, around three times Wiscasset’s population.

So why hire someone to attract more businesses and encourage other ones to grow? If taxpayers are happy with the size of the base, don’t bother. But why would they be? The more concentrated the load, the harder it is to lift; expand the base, to make it easier on everyone’s back.

A key will be getting the right person. Last I read, it was still a job seeker’s market. Even some jobs that pay way better than before are being filled by not ideally qualified workers. Good for them, not so great for employers and their customers. 

So if Wiscasset wants to invest in business growth by creating the proposed job, the town should cringe at the thought of what it should pay, then do it anyway. Anything less would be likelier to yield a poor return. 

Week’s positive parting thought: The daffodils are sprouting, it is light out later and snow, when we do get it, disappears pretty quickly. Goodbye, cold, dark season. Hi, there, another spring on gorgeous Midcoast Maine.