To the editor:
Gov. Bob Holden recently released his version of what needs to be cut from the Missouri budget. For some reason, he has decided to run frightened with the herd. He speaks of investing in education, which is a very good investment. But he then pulls all support for making that investment work by eliminating Department of Economic Development field representatives.
There are eight DED regional offices throughout the state. These offices coordinate economic and community-development opportunities in mostly rural Missouri. Eliminating these offices places impossible burdens on the already overworked public servants in Jefferson City. Investment in education is a good thing. But not having economic opportunities to support a rigorously educated population is a foolish and wasteful thing.
In rural Missouri, where I work, there is nothing more important than having economic opportunities to prompt our educated young people to return home. These regional offices have provided much-needed help to me and my colleagues working around the state. More often than not, local projects wouldn't even begin without the help of DED's field representatives.
I hope your readers will call or write their state representatives and tell them how important these field offices are to a bright economic future for rural Missouri. Tell your representatives to remain focused and fearless and to invest in Missouri's economic future.
WILLIAM L. INGRAM
Economic and Community Development