By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors accepted a document proposal to have the County join a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

The board voted Tuesday to approve a proposal from the Imperial County Planning and Development Services Department to accept a document prepared by members of the South County EDC; East County EDC; Imperial County Planning and Development Services; IVEDC; and Sand Diego County.

The request from the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is to pursue the establishments of an Economic Development District which would include portions of South and East San Diego County and all of Imperial County. By Authorizing this document, the Strategy will be sent to the California State Planning Office and the Federal Economic Development Administration by Southern California EDC.

County Planning Director Jurg Heuberger told the board that by accepting strategy the County of Imperial will not be committed and not guaranteeing that they will support the formation of an EDD, only that further information will be presented later on. He also stated that the proposal has been reviewed by the Imperial County Overall Economic Development Commission on three occasions and voted not to accept the joint CEDS and has no interest on the EDD.  The proposal of forming the EDD was discussed by the County City Managers Association and the group spoke against accepting the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and against the formation of the Economic Development District.

In 2009, the South County Economic Development Council got funding from the EDA to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the creation of an Economic Development District and is now asking for the County of Imperial to approve it. The EDD will be composed of 32 members, 16 from San Diego and 16 from Imperial Valley.

There were some concerns among the Supervisors that having a large board will make it difficult for the appointed residents of the Imperial Valley to attend the meetings in San Diego on a monthly basis. After some discussion the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to accept this Economic Development Strategy with Supervisor Jack Terrazas voting against it.

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