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Mayor Murray, Dory invited to go on state trip to China, Japan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Hoosier trade mission to the Far East next month could include two Greencastle officials.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who will lead the state trade delegation, has invited Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center Director Bill Dory to tag along.

The trade mission is scheduled for Sept. 17-28, beginning in Shanghai, China, and ending in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan (Indiana's sister state), where the Hoosier contingent plans to assist with earthquake relief.

"It's an honor to be asked to go," Mayor Murray said.

Earlier this week she informed the City Council of the invitation but was hesitant to commit to the trip with everything that is already on her plate in Greencastle.

Besides the responsibilities of the day-to-day operation of the city, the 2012 budget process and the progress of the Stellar Communities Grant projects lie ahead.

"It's just a real busy time," Mayor Murray said. "It would be nice to go, but it's a long trip (17 days) and a long time away. Logistically we have a lot of things to talk about."

One of those things would be how to pay for the trip. City Councilman Mark Hammer, who went on a similar trip to Japan in 2003, reminded everyone that funds have been set aside through the Citizens Advisory Commission for Industrial Development (CACFID) for such purposes.

The mayor said she is definitely considering it. Dory, meanwhile, brought the invitation to the attention of the Development Center Board of Directors during its meeting Friday.

In Japan, the Indiana contingent is scheduled to make stops in Tokyo, Nagoya and Ota City. The latter is home to Shigeru Industries, the parent company of Heartland Automotive.

"Again, it's an honor to be asked to go," Murray said. "And at the end of the day, we know it's important to the folks with Shigeru and Heartland and Chiyoda."

Mayor Murray said the visit to China is a direct result of Chinese firms expressing interest in investing in the United States, particularly in the Midwest.

The Hoosier delegation of business and community leaders will focus on job creation. Participants are scheduled to meet with leaders of Japanese companies having Indiana operations -- like Shigeru and Chiyoda -- as well as host a reception for potential investors.

Lt. Gov. Skillman also will address the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association meeting in Tokyo.

"Our friends in Japan have been extraordinary business partners," Skillman said. "We know there are more opportunities for job growth and investment to those U.S. states willing to put in the effort to build and maintain relationships."

The trip will be Skillman's fifth overseas trade mission as lieutenant governor. She previously represented Indiana in Central America (2005), Taiwan and Vietnam (2006), Mexico (2008) and China (2010).

Should Mayor Murray and Dory decide to go, it will be at least the fifth visit to Japan by local officials. Mayor Nancy Michael went three times during her 12 years in office, while Mike Harmless also went during his reign as mayor.

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the mayor is exactly right. there are too many things going on in Grencastle for her to be gone 17 days. The Stellar grant will take a lot of planning and the new sidewalk project needs to be supervised. Also, after 9 months of having to look at the Mason's building eyesore, the city needs to get something done about cleaning up that mess. As for Dory, he has nothing on his plate, so he is free to go. Putnam County's unemployment rate is high and we are tearing down factories and have others sitting idle as well as the spec building, so if Dory goes, it won't make much difference

-- Posted by albert on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 7:01 AM

We need the Development Center....To continue on GIVING TAX ABATEMENT for Updating Equipment used in Newer Model of Cars without REALLY Creating New Jobs????

Stop That! Go to China to Find Jobs for here or Send there....

No Don't Go! Trusting them No...Watch Your Computer Bill they will hack it.

-- Posted by macvrod on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 9:32 AM

why do we need the development center?????

Mallory factory gone

Techno Trim factory gone

Oxford Automotive gone

taxpayer cost of spec building lots and it is empty

Benedick, you are right, what does the development center do for the betterment of the county? Dory and Murray should stay home and take care of business

-- Posted by albert on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 1:08 PM

Right "albert" why do we have these development organizations.. Industrial property is outrageous to buy in Hendricks County. You would think that by saving millions in property expense in Putnam County it would make it more profitable to buy land in Putnam. Or is it after these businesses check into zoning for their building, the city/county feeds them a line of crap that deters them from purchasing the land. There are unused industrial/commercial zoned lots in the Cloverdale area near the interstate and they have sat empty for ever. A multi-million dollar building which sets empty north of Lear which is city owned and sets empty. Wow! Mayor Murray! You must have kissed a lot of tail to be invited by the Lt. Governor to go to China. How much of that grant money to rebuild the square went into the Depauws bank of millions? You may want to think about running the City of Greencastle for the citizens of Greencastle instead of for the University that too expensive for the majority of the local students who need/want the education but cannot afford it to attend. Just the person I would love to spend 17 days with. There is also a rumor that the city is hiring 2 new firemen. There is no doubt that fire/rescue is needed in Greencastle, however the City Police Department has been denied filling the position of Officer Chris Helmer. Hmmm... Filling a department where the majority of there time is spent on station. Responding to approximately 750 runs a year and shafting the department that is understaffed and responds to 5000 or more calls a year. Not to mention the money that was saved when the County purchased two of the three or maybe even all 3 of the new Dodge Chargers for that department. But thats right! Depauw funds the fire department.

-- Posted by concerned3 on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 2:59 PM

Wow,Concerned3,what a big chip you have on the shoulder...thankfully,you can step outside and breathe fresh air since we're a rural county......

-- Posted by kubotafan on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 3:35 PM

In reality, concerned3 is dead on.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 5:57 PM

I cannot believe how stupid these comment are! Yes, actually I can. Scares the hell out of me. That kind of mentality will keep this city in the nineteenth century forever. I am so grateful you curmudgeons do not speak for the rest of us.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 9:35 PM

The logic applied by those that have absolutely no idea what our community does to lure jobs to this town is awe striking. I agree with them we should not work hard to provide incentives to businesses? Do people think business will come here by chance? All small communities are competing for limited opportunities. Bill Dory and many others work tirelessly to get our name in front of countless companies. And do you think Mayor Murray is personally going to rebuild Mason's jewelry building. If we don't go looking for jobs they aren't going to come here. And like there aren't audits of government funds to keep the town government from feeding millions into DePauw's secret account for money they rip off from the community. Paranoid much? The town, the schools, the street department, the county governments all have secret accounts in which they stuff all the excess money that comes into our county!! There is not enough money to provide all the improvements we need, every dollar is scrutinized (considering all the immediate needs that exist) on what it should be spent on.

Local government is getting bent over like the rest of us, we should support the people that are trying to help all of us. If your not part of the solution.....

-- Posted by LitNup on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 11:27 PM

The only thing keeping Greencastle in the 19th century is its local government.

concerned3 is VERY much correct.

-- Posted by stranded67 on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 11:58 PM

LitNup, your flowery answer may sound good, but you are missing an important point. We are judged by results and not efforts. I am a teacher and I grade student's papers, we give grades on report cards and we keep score at athletic events. If you work for someone, you are measured by your results. If you own your own business, results or profits are your measure of success. Nowhere are efforts alone the only measure of success. The mayor and Dory may have some efforts, they do not have the results.

-- Posted by albert on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 2:06 AM

Albert - they do have results. Crown is undergoing a major expansion that would not have happened here without the incentives offered by the city. Another city would have lured them away and instead of adding more jobs, we might have lost them all. In an economic recession, results are lower everywhere, but those who continue the efforts fare better than those who sit back and wait for good things to fall in their lap.

Keep up the efforts Bill, Sue and all those that are trying to make this a better place to live. Don't let the nay-sayers discourage your efforts!

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 7:42 AM

Albert. If you are out of work do companies come and knock on your door to offer you a job. (less flowery version)

-- Posted by LitNup on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 11:11 AM

I understand the purpose of a development center, but I question the success rate in the last ten years or so.

It's essentially a sales position. Compare it to a car lot. The car salesman start out with a small salary, which quickly transitions to commission-based.If the salesman doesn't sell any cars, he doesn't get paid & is eventually out of a job.

How many cars has the current EDC sold?

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 10:20 PM

Are we talking about how many cars he sold before or after the economic recession. Because even the best salesmen aren't selling as well now. Simplistic analogies divert attention away from the complexities and economic realities that besiege our community and country today. Comparing attempts to keep our community economically viable and selling cars are two very different things and a simplistic argument/retort.

-- Posted by LitNup on Mon, Aug 15, 2011, at 7:03 PM

What would you do differently? I like to hear some solutions instead of complaints.

-- Posted by LitNup on Tue, Aug 16, 2011, at 9:45 PM

I guess constructive exchange of positive ideas to make our community better isn't as appealing as spewing venom and taking no responsibility to offer suggestion to make things better.

-- Posted by LitNup on Wed, Aug 17, 2011, at 5:10 PM