Salisbury Chamber issues post-election manifesto

With the results of last week’s election now recorded, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce has released its manifesto that seeks to inspire the newly elected leaders to tackle issues critical to the Salisbury-area business community.

Released by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, the Chamber membership issues the following calls-to-action, as quoted directly from their manifesto:

1. Communication and collaboration are the strongest building blocks of economic progress.

The past few years we have enjoyed an incredibly productive public policy environment in Wicomico County and in the city of Salisbury, as well as our other municipalities, precisely because our leaders have been establishing new lines of communication and exploring new avenues of collaboration, not only with each other across the aisle, but also with a wide spectrum of external stakeholders.

The SACC has been a proud and active supporter of these endeavors with the E-DAT process that brought many levels of government and business sectors to the table for common solutions, with the County Executive’s Visioning Process, and various City-County collaborations. We urge that more and more effective avenues of communication and collaboration should become the norm rather than the exception from this point forward. To that end, we pledge the Chamber’s support by offering to host a series of summit meetings to help craft this new normal.

2. No new fees, fines, taxes, regulations, or other government action should be contemplated without extensive and effective consultation with those who will be impacted by such actions.  This is especially the case for actions that impact business, economic, and workforce development in our region.  The Advocacy and Government Relations Division of the Chamber together with our Business and Economic Development Division are ready, willing, and able to partner with the newly elected and returning public policy decision-makers to facilitate such dialogs.

3. A “Positive” attitude, when combined with a “Can Do!” mindset is always preferable to a “Negative” attitude with an “Obstructionist” mindset.

The Chamber has always been at the forefront of “Outcomes-Focused” planning and implementation efforts. We are currently experiencing the resurgence of this mindset with the entrepreneurial investments being made in downtown Salisbury. The Chamber will support all public policy decision-makers who wish to build on what makes us good so that we can get better.

4. We urge all public policy decision-makers to be mindful of the way they collect revenues and invest public resources.

Efficiency and effectiveness should always be the key criteria used.  This approach ensures that we improve our resident’s quality of life, educate our next generations, develop our trained and trainable workforce, repair and build our infrastructures and protect our environment without falling into the trap of wasteful spending.  Trite slogans of “cutting spending” and “reducing taxes” mean nothing if the actions that follow do not improve our quality of life over the long-term.  The SACC acknowledges that this is a very difficult balancing act. However, this balancing act is exactly what our members have to master each and every day in their businesses.   We pledge to support our elected officials in making these difficult decisions by providing open and non-partisan access to the collective wisdom of our members.

5. We urge all of our elected leaders to have the courage to dream big and to stand behind their dreams with strong convictions and positive actions.

If they can show us the return on such investments, the SACC and the businesses the Chamber represents will happily join them in making such investments.

After all, who understands the risk-return equation better than entrepreneurs, business owners and managers who embrace risks on a daily basis to benefit from the returns that such risks promise.

The wisdom to know the difference between a wasteful pet project and a truly visionary dream is more than present in the collective brain power represented by our Chamber.

In closing, we promise to be supportive of our newly elected and returning officials in fulfilling the promise of a community with a solid focus on economic development and building on our strengths, including (but not limited to) agriculture, health-care, higher education, finance, business services, manufacturing, aerospace, and technology.

We will be honored to be their partners as we collectively pursue prosperity for our residents, innovation in our businesses, streamlining and collaboration in our government activities, and, above all, efficiency and effectiveness in all of our investments, including those in education, transportation, information technology, and in our environment .

An open and collaborative public policy arena will benefit us all by giving us flexible, agile, and effective decisions that will lead to more and better jobs, better health, and positive and sustainable growth.

The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce is ready to invest in such a future.

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