St. Clair County’s bid as the new home for NGA West never really had a chance.
Who had ever heard of the Obama administration’s “Promise Zone” program until they read about it in the BND on April Fool’s Day? So apropos!
After a little Internet search I found the Promise Zone. St. Louis and St. Louis County is on President Obama’s 2015 list where the federal government partners with and invests in communities to accomplish goals like job creation, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities and reduce violent crime.
How could the county compete against that?
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NGA Director Robert Cardillo is a highly thought of political appointee. Before taking the helm in October 2014, he organized President Obama’s daily intelligence briefings. That puts him between a rock and a hard place on this decision.
They had their “answer” first and then needed only to back-fill with justification. Like Mascoutah Mayor Jerry Daugherty astutely noted in his recent BND opinion piece, “... some of the reasons given for choosing the north St. Louis site was ‘grasping for straws.’”
Looking on the bright side, St. Clair County now has a “wild card” for the future. The federal government owes us one in the same way choosing the north St. Louis site “righted the wrong” for the failed Pruitt-Igoe federal housing complex.
Bill Malec, O’Fallon