By PBN Staff
Mr Stokes has the perfect combination of being an insider AND having the skills to do the job. I predict the position will remain in his hands.
President, End Hunger Foundation, Inc
I responded it does matter who runs the RIEDC. Until the electorate of this state chooses a more diverse State Legislative body it doesn't matter who runs any of our quasi public private bodies. Look no further than the recent over ride of every cost cutting veto by the Governor. The state of RI is the poster child for what happens with one party rule. It is not a democrat or republican issue. It is a human nature issue. The same would have resulted if the Republicans were the one party ruling just on the opposite extreme. I praise Mr Stokes for having the guts to take on such a lose lose position and being a local business owner I do wish him success for the good of all. With that said unless a company has a emotional tie to the Rhode island it will be extremely tough for him to attract companies using a intellectual, apples to apples comparison. Because after you remove the emotional tie RI does not compare favorably with it's competitors, even when times are good never mind now.
The poll results so far reflect the negativism that is this state's, and now Keith Stokes', biggest barrier to success. Where there is concerted and strategic positive thinking (take a page from Chicago, or New York, or Charlotte, or Denver, or one of many cities with a can-do, get-it-done attitude), and leadership by engaged public/private coalitions, there can be constructive action that leads to economic growth, jobs creation, tax revenue growth, and sustained positive changes. Rhode Islanders ought to join hands with Keith Stokes around a shared and prioritized agenda, rather than questioning his ability as one person to save the rest of us.
Keith Stokes knows the political and financial topography of Rhode Island as well as anyone in the state. He will face many challenges, which have been noted in other comments, but RI also has many assets that are frequently ignored: location between two thriving states, strong higher educational centers, and unique geographic and architectural resources. With the help of business leaders across the state and the acquiescence of a panicked state bureaucracy, perhaps a difficult time like the present is the best opportunity that RI has seen for major structural economic development improvements in a generation...
Ross Cann, AIA LEED AP