Spotlight on EDC membership
Remnants of Port Angeles United?
Some of you may recall the recent hoopla surrounding the attempted takeover of all the local business groups by a movement called “Port Angeles United.
You may recall the major players at the table included First Federal CEO, Larry Heuth and his lawyer from Platt-Irwin. They claimed to represent a furtive group called “The CEO Group.”
At the first meeting of Port Angeles United, Port O Call asked for a list of members of the CEO Group since they intended to extinguish the local chamber of commerce, the downtown association and the Port Angeles Business Association.
Irwin promised to deliver to Port O Call a list of the its members. That was some time ago and Port O Call is still waiting for that list.
The CEO Group’s plan was to unify all these business groups and only one voice would speak for business in the area and that voice would be the CEO Group via their manipulation of the Port Angeles United movement.
Well, that attempt failed when the three business groups handed them their hat and bid them “no thanks.”
With Port O Call continuing to shine the light on these hijinks the PAU project fizzled under its own veil of secrecy and hubris.
Not to be deterred the CEO Group is presumably still functioning and still intends to manipulate the local economy–now via the Economic Development Council/Corporation on whose board sits the same Larry Heuth, CEO of First Federal and accompanied by the Platt-Irwin law firm, aided and abeded by the local newspaper whose publisher is a member of EDC.
What do the members of EDC have in common? All are major employers and all benefit by keeping out competition and keeping wages as low as possible so as to increase the dividend paid to owners and or shareholders.
In the coming months Port O Call will drill down a bit to explore this type of leadership as exemplified by Heuth, First Federal and other members of the EDC whom Port O Call suggests is most interested in keeping out competition and keeping wages at the near-poverty level for all times.
Port O Call will show how the EDC manipulates the local media through its taxpayer-paid purchase of advertising and its courting of the new publisher of the foreign-owned newspaper and with the complicity of the local “ask me no questions” radio station.
Are all these EDC members in support of the stated ideals as espoused by EDC board member, Jim McEntire who suggested the EDC be careful about bringing new businesses to the area lest they pay better wages and “come after your employees?”
Port O Call hopes to answer these questions and pose a few more in this multi-part series spotlighting the members of the EDC and showing how their continued taxpayer supported existence is detrimental to a vibrant and expanding economy in Port Angeles and the wider area.
The first installment due in the upcoming edition will show how First Federal uses its considerable financial clout to curry favor in certain quarters and how it stifles competition in other areas.
The success of almost any business depends upon having a “line of credit” at a financial institution. A line of credit helps businesses get over the hump when cash-flow is an issue.
Port O Call will explore how some “friendly” companies get a working line of credit and how others, not so friendly to the pursuits of the EDC, will lose, or never get, a line of credit.
Port O Call will feature a story that may shed some light on the mystery as to why, in 2012, First Federal’s CEO and its chief banking officer left their cushy jobs suddenly and without explanation, and why the local newspaper, and longtime EDC member, went silent about it. Thus leaving bank customers and investors in the dark about the Machiavellian machinations of our most vaunted financial institution.