Sunday, June 28, 2009

Richardson: Take two Protocols and call me in the morning

The Brunswick Town Council held a workshop on Naval Air Station redevelopment on Monday, June 22. Brunswick's own John Richardson, former Speaker of the House, and now State Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, was there, and offered his remarks on the subject.

Steve Mistler of the Forecaster characterized it this way:

"Caught between a need to ease anxiety about the closing of Brunswick Naval Air Station and protecting the identity of prospective tenants at the base, the commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development on Monday called for new communication "protocols" between the base redevelopment authority and the Town Council."
Richardson says he's had discussions with a dozen companies about moving to Brunswick, including one Fortune 500 company. In a variation on the old "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" secrecy chestnut, Richardson said he wanted to say who they are, but he couldn't, because "confidentiality is king."

Link to the Forecaster article.

I guess the old approach of a business touting its future arrival by putting up a sign saying "future site of XYZ" has gone the way of the non-texting cell phone. Apparently, in this troubled economic era, it's better to hide your plans for expansion. It reminds me of the yellow page ads of some years back with a rug dealer who said that if he advertised in the phone book, "I'd have to answer the phone! And who wants to do that?"

We have no choice, I suppose, but to consider Oxford Aviation the exception that proves Richardson's rule of confidentiality, since they define the polar opposite of such secrecy. They've got F. Lee Bailey, doing his modern day take on Professor Harold Hill: "76 airplanes led the big fly in....with 201 new jobs close behind." All those years doing the "my client is innocent" shtick have prepared him well for his new theatrical role.

Oxford's web-site very unconfidentially pictures their "Brunswick Jet Division," otherwise known as the current in use Hangar 6 on the Naval Air Station. It shouldn't be too long before they take pictures of the prior, now-useless "groundbreaking" at Sanford, with Gov. Baldacci, Richardson, Bailey, and others in attendance, and photo-shop them to show a Brunswick ceremony. But maybe it's too late for that. With their movement onto the base complete, at least in cyberland, showing a ground breaking ceremony might be seen as blatantly misleading.

Link to Oxford's site; be sure to watch the animated promo of the Brunswick Jet Division at the top.

So how are we to reconcile Richardson's confidentiality pronouncements with Oxford's antithetical behavior? I have no idea; at least none that I'm willing to talk about in this polite discourse. I'm sure the more imaginative among you might, though. Feel free to submit them as a comment.

And if thinking about it gives you a headache, take two Protocols before you go to bed, and call Commissioner Richardson in the morning.

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