This Could Power Merced County Through 21st Century

By  John Derby
Times Publisher
August 25, 2016

Looking at the future of Merced County, the UC Merced Development and the Revenue Sharing Agreement between Merced County and its cities, is so important it could power this county through the 21st Century.
The financing of the UC development alone warrants national attention because it brings together educational resources and private resources. Together they can address the problem of how higher education can keep pace with the demand of growing student bodies.
The problem of Revenue Sharing has been an anchor around the neck of Merced County and the city, dragging it to an economic halt in areas where the need for growth has been most important.
Both of these actions deal with jobs, hopefully local jobs which can provide opportunity for residents of Merced County, at all levels, to find work. Keep in mind, we are not all college graduates, and in many cases the construction jobs do not require college degrees.
How important are local jobs? Without them, we remain on the treadmill of poverty facing crime, drug and gang problems, which no amount of policing can stop.
We are glad to see that the UC Merced development has set guidelines for local hiring on its projects.
There is something more important about these two actions which has taken place. They both have required negotiation on the part of city, county and university leaders — all pulling in the same direction.
All too often in the past we have seen just the opposite, local leaders pulling at each other and failing to reach any positive results.
Speaking for the community and the county, we are proud to see that this breaks the barrier between action and inaction. It answers the questions: What is best for the city? What is best for the county? And what is best for the University, its staff and student body?
Merced College should be in step with these other agencies, and we feel it would be if we could put aside the criticism, and get down to the most important issue at hand. That is hiring of the right new president.
Finally, we realize that all of this did not happen without a lot of work hours on the part of many people. We cannot list all their names here, however, they are in the stories which we have written.
These people deserve a pat on the back.
You know them, and when you see them, stop and say: “Damn good job!”

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