Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For the ‘interested student:’ some Brunswick Economic Development history.

A studious reader of ours passed along some interesting historical references yesterday.  We’re going to pass them along to you without much commentary, so you can do your own independent study and report back to us.


Suffice it to say that we had not paid much attention to Brunswick’s varied and sundry efforts to engage municipal government in ‘economic development’ initiatives until we stumbled, quite literally, upon recent BDC benevolence to local enterprises.

The root link for your assignment is this one:

When you examine it, you’ll find several other links to cached articles, etc, that are no longer available elsewhere.  We’ll list them here to make things easier for you:

We have not yet studied all these items, but we can tell you that some of the names popping up in the references ring a bell.  Like Scott Howard, the ‘business consultant’ hired by Dale King, owner of Brunswick Taxi, to help him find grants or government money.  Turns out he was once President of the BEDC. 

Other local luminaries, like Forrest Lowe, were also involved.  And Steve Weems. long time principal at CEI, the entity engaged with BDC in the transactions to relieve the town of its Federal Street facilities.

None of this gives us a very good feeling, given what’s transpired of late.  We’re especially aggrieved by the flagrant (or should we say fragrant) pomposity on display in statements such as these:

The four nominees, Weems said, point to an effort by the board to "follow through" on one of the goals in the BEDC Statement of Operating Philosophy: "To bring diverse perspectives into its work to promote economic development in Brunswick, through the composition of its board of directors, a receptivity to the perspectives of a wide variety of people and enterprises."

"We're intentionally looking for diversity on the board, which we feel we already have, but just to emphasize that further ... we're looking to be a Renaissance group, if you will, and to have Renaissance-type people on the board," Weems said, noting that the board is "extremely pleased" with the nominees.

Among the nominees, "There's definitely an emphasis on diversity and a wide range of points of view about the community and economic development in Brunswick," Weems said Monday.

Altogether, Weems said, the board is "an astounding group of people and experiences and backgrounds and perspectives, with one thing in common, that all of us feel a passionate commitment to diversified economic and community development for Brunswick."


“Renaissance-type people?”  “An astounding group?” 

Oh, puhhhleeease!  Can you imagine any more self-serving, gratuitous, sanctimonious bloviating than this?

And people say Side gets carried away?  Are you kidding?


  1. Let us not overlook the involvement of Mike Ouellet, former president of the BEDC, who resigned over allegations of conflicts of interest when he also served on the Maine Street Station planning committee. He is also the contractor that built the McLellan Building, which is now disintegrating nicely as it turns 14 years old....

  2. Not to be too picky, but when Scott Howard was president of the BEDC, he lived and paid taxes in High Head in Harpswell, where he still resides. One of his businesses is named Harpswell Partners LLC. It wasn't the "Brunswick AREA Economic Development Corporation".