One thing that every candidate for Fremont City Council seems to agree on is that the key to paying for better services, like more cops, is more economic development. Only Bob Wieckowski is bold enough to defend 2006’s failed Utility Tax.
But can any city really expect economic growth when the economy is tanking and credit is tight? I asked Steven Cohen, economist for the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, about whether Fremont could generate the kind of economic growth that could pay for new cops.
“Nothing in the way of what are loosely called economic development policies are going to help any cities’ budget in the next year or two or three,” he said.
Fremont is well-positioned to eventually attract companies, but it will face competition, he added.
“The idea that one city such as Fremont would dominate is (questionable). But even if they were successful, it’s not going to solve the budget problems facing them this year, next year or in 2010.”