Politics aside, there may be some sound economic development-oriented reasons to look favorably on the Wichita City Council’s decision Thursday to cut a deal with former Sunrise, Fla., city manager Pat Salerno.
We’ve gotten some pretty pointed object lessons recently about the competitive environment that Wichita’s businesses – including our lifeblood, aviation – exist in. It took a quick round of city and state cooperation to get money for a new Cessna plant. A few weeks later we sat back and saw a large bag of money – OK, a large crate – thrown at Spirit AeroSystems for a new North Carolina plant.
The moral: Other states have a lot of money to spend, and they’d like to spend it on the industries we consider essentialÂ to Wichita’s economic health.
Indications are that Salerno doesn’t back away from a good fight in the economic development arena, and he appears to win more than his share. So before old fears and bad experiences cause a rush to judgment on the man, let’s sit back, see if the city can do a deal with him and then judge him on his results.