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ONLY ON 3: $100,000 Jay Garner report recommends free internet, pharmacy school; Leaves out film, tourism, arts and history


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) - The Jay Garner Report, tasked with finding ways to grow the area's economy and recently delivered to New Hanover County and other local leaders, says aircraft assembly, life and marine sciences, high value office operations and precision manufacturing are the keys to making the area more viable for new companies to move here.

That Atlanta-based company has been paid at least $100,000 for the economic feedback.

Specifically, the report recommends:

1) Transforming the area from a predominantly tourist and service economy to one that better leverages economic fundamentals.

2) Reassigning the Wilmington Business Development group and creating and Department of Economic and Community Development.

3) The WBD would then be in charge of creating a three-county micro-marketing alliance between New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties to attract new businesses.

4) Consolidating government services between the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County.

5) Challenging the Chamber of Commerce to create a political institute to recruit and help train business leaders to serve in public office. This idea was in reaction to many in the community who commented that those who serve in local politics now are anti-business.

The report also gave some specific ideas for launching a better economy such as CFCC establishing an airframe and power plant certificate program to work with the Wilmington International Airport. It also said offering free internet to the entire county, but only in 30 minute intervals, would show that the county has embraced technology and supports a mobile workforce. It also advocated for the creation of a local pharmacy school and said the county's very strict special use permit should be undone.

The report made little or no mention of the film industry, the tourism industry (except that leaders should move away from it,) local arts and culture or the region's historic areas.

When the report asked community leaders and other in surveys, however, what the area's strengths were, most cited access to outdoor recreation, historic downtown, the film industry and the tourism industry.

A recent UNCW survey showed that quality of life is the region's biggest asset.

The county plans to respond to the report on April 2 during a special meeting. It says this version is just a draft and is still in the comment period with the steering committee.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


And some people say: "You can't just make this stuff up."

Well, apparently that's not entirely true and the people behind the Jay Garner Report must have that displayed on a banner in their office. Not only can you make stuff up, you apparently can make up really bizarre stuff and get paid really well for it.

I can just picture them laughing hysterically when they made up this one: "offering free internet to the entire county, but only in 30 minute intervals, would show that the county has embraced technology (I, personally would replace that word with "insanity") and supports a mobile workforce."

For an extra $32,527, they'll even throw in a "bonus" report that'll explain how to readjust traffic patterns every 30 minutes when the "mobile work force" pulls off the road to take advantage of the free internet.

This would all be really amusing if we didn't already know how addicted our local "leaders" are to wasting our tax dollars on useless studies and reports.

Of course, if the voters continue to fiddle on the sidelines while NHC burns, there wont be enough money left in our coffers to have to worry about another frivolous, wasteful "study".

But Chef....

At least we have a well coiffed Mayor.......


Let's Fund a Study to Study Studies

I volunteer to do the Googling....errr "research", and ya'll pay me $100k.

Seriously, though, how much do we fritter away every year on pointless studies?
About the only thing here I agree with is #4, and most folks have been saying that for years, and for free.
Who commissioned this, anyway? City? County? Do they get some sort of cash rebate for this stuff? Ridiculous.

Wasted Report

There goes another $100,000.00 wasted as we know our local leaders are going to ignore the bulk of the suggestions. How many years have most of us locals been saying the city and county should consolidate? The elected officials are not going to give up their offices to allow this to happen.
All anyone has to do is look at places where county/city consolidations have happened to see how much it benefited those areas. And here our county is so much smaller than some of the places where the consolidations took place. It is a no- brainer for New Hanover County small as it is to consolidate with Wilmington as it would benefit not only our government but also us citizens. But as stated it won't benefit our elected officials so that one goes out the window. And the amount of wasted dollars on tourism. Our city officials keep wanting to know ways of attracting the local Wilmingtonians to return to the downtown area yet it is constantly geared toward tourism. Wilmington may have some history but it is not a Charleston. So as long as Wilmington wants to be geared for tourism then forget the common citizens of wanting to "go downtown." The shopping complexes get most of the locals business.
Also to mention the night life of downtown Wilmington is for the bar's clientele and also is totally unsafe for a person to be walking at night except right in the bar traffic areas. My wife and I haven't visited downtown Wilmington in well over 15 years. To unsafe!
Another one of the better suggestions was the pharmacy school. As anyone has watched business over the last ten years anything "medical" is one of the best bets to enter.
Actually the whole report told it as it is and most of us regular folks living in this area have been saying the same for years. And now our leaders thought why not pay $100,000.00 for some official report to tell us the same thing!!!!
None of this is gonna happen in New Hanover County and Wilmington folks.

Study in Subjugation of NHC Citizens

Nothing says "I don't know how to do it" quite like calling in consultants. Nothing demonstrates the consultants worthlessness like recommending the creation of even more groups that will make even more recommendations.

Recommending a consolidation of NHC and the City of Wilmington's power and control should have everyone on alert. Recommending that the Chamber of Commerce improve it's power and influence over the community via the training of business leaders is helpful to our citizens how exactly???
Free internet...are you kidding?
Eliminating the special use permit would undermine citizens' right to understand and control projects that negatively impact their community.
What was the objective of this Study? How to wrest power and control from the citizens and hand it over to business and government?

100K foolish study

Agree with comments so far and can only offer one bit of advice. Start now with concerted efforts to remove ALL INCUMBENT ELECTED OFFICIALS as fast as possible! Together WE CAN DO IT!

Other comments aside I think one VERY reasonable & valid..

An airframe & powerplant school here in the Cape Fear would be an asset. At 52 I'm likely too old to re-train to that instead of cars but I'd give it serious consideration and I'm sure many youth here would welcome a chance to enter the aviation field.

I'm postive some of OUR regular commenter(s)

Such as VOG, SSTom et al, or even I myself, could of done this "report" coming to much of the SAME conclusion(s) AND Offered Idea's outcomes etc, for ALOT LESS...
These are the "people" running our City/county .Gov's????
They cannot drive around, LOOK, ask question(s), OR think for themselves, OFFERING Idea's & Solutions to be put forth to the people of New Hanover Co...????
WE/ (THEY) have to HIRE someone????
Even a "Low-Information voter" could of come up with the same, for the Price of a 12 pack O beer... So WE payed 100K for THIS?!

Thanks for the lofty endorsement

blood sugar issues preclude beer consumption.

Some bottled water, not from the CFPA system, would work.

Even better, WWAY could promote a live, local, and interactive panel which would appear weekly from various locales within the area. Have a Point-Counter Point debate approach as they once did on 60 minutes.

Point would consist of free spending Puffy Saffo and his band of cronies.

Counter Point would be fiscal conservatives such as VOG and Chef.

The first 25 minutes, weekly, would focus on some critical topic.

Final 5 minutes would feature the debate.

Maybe we could even get that renowned downtown developer, Mr. Schoninger, to give us his thoughts and he could clue us in on these EB-5 projects and refrigerator storage facilities.


If it's just myself and VOG on counterpoint, they're going to need a bigger team, 'cause from where I'm seeing it, they got no point

I forgot to mention

Brian Berger for moderator.

And I did not think they could handle you, VOG, and myself on 1 side of the podium.

That would overwhelm them.

12 pack?

I would have done it for a 6 pack !!!!

Actually this report is fraught with glaring omissions.
Forgetting tourism? Well that's OK I get it - these are not full time jobs they're seasonal BUT tourists do spend money here.

But I do fear combining city and county governments - why? Well each entity has their strengths and more than enough weaknesses. Which one will dominate the combined city/county entity?
Look at CFPUA - an effort that combined city and county into a combined "authority". Are we happy with how that turned out?
Who would we prefer leading our new government? "Hairspray" Bill Saffo, or "I second that amotion" Woody White???? Brian Berger anyone? How about we wake up Tom Wolfe???

A combined city county government - especially with someone like Chuck Kuebler on it, would jam a ball park down our throats - the EXACT same way the city jammed the Prevention Center down our throats. Oh, wait - sorry it was a "CON" job - so it is a CONvention Center - my bad.

I don't fear combining governments - I just fear the leaders of said combined governments.


My best guess?

How to "fleece" resident(s)/snowbirds, on the on-coming Pension/ Debt service explosion(s), for these people were paying NOW, expecting a "pension" working for the City/County..,, that are around 10-15 years out...
THATS; what it is, city/ County PENSION/BENNIES, that would FORCE by mathematics' to be solvent..., I bet they aren't...

Please get the 12 pack

Mike McGill from CFPUA here. If you drink a 12 pack instead of a 6, we can bill you more for your water & sewer usage. Each flush is money to our ears. Come on, do your part, daddy needs a new boat.


At my age it doesn't matter whether it's a 12 or a 6 - my bladder ain't what it used to be so I pee no matter what........(I am so glad the two rest areas are open on I-40 to Raleigh now)

But thats a funny one "Mike McGill from CFPUA here......"

What size boat does "daddy" need?



Mike McGill from CFPUA here. Daddy has his eye on a 38' Fountain Lighting. They only want $210k so once my performance bonus is added in (I'm paid by the word) I'll have more than enough.

Thanks for being part of the team and keep on flushing!

the city asked how to grow

the city asked how to grow the areas economy? if they couldnt even think of what was listed above, how do you think they are going to accomplish any of these things?

Why can't you citizens of

Why can't you citizens of Wilmington hire firms like this on your own...and then you won't need a City Council? Not the current one you have anyway...HA!

They paid $100,000 to a

They paid $100,000 to a company who doesn't even realize that the federal Office of Management and Budget declared Brunswick County to be a part of Myrtle Beach's metro area.

They're not sure...maybe?

They're not sure...maybe?

Jay Garner report

"That Atlanta-based company has been paid at least $100,000 for the economic feedback."

What the HE!!? Do we not have City staffers who could arrive at the same conclusions? That's right...wasteful spending is the norm.


I think the biggest conclusion of this report is one that is not published in it. It proves, once again, that government is unable to spend OUR money in a logical, efficient manner.

This report is like taking $100,000 and throwing it out on Market Street, except, throwing the money on Market Street would have helped more people.

...laughable...and a bargain

...laughable...and a bargain at 100k.