Jefferson County needs Tony Morelli
To the editor:
Tony Morelli has shown in several ways that he has the ability, desire and leadership skills to be a county commissioner for Jefferson County.
About 10 years ago, I met Tony Morelli for the first time at one of my first industry visits in the Ohio River Valley. A few minutes into our meeting, I knew I found a kindred spirit in Tony. What started out as a meeting to discuss the needs of one particular industry, ended up as a group discussion among a half dozen industries regarding the need for a road map to chart the course for an industrial renaissance of the Ohio River Valley.
Tony understands that economic development is a contact sport. It is not a spectator sport. It is recognizing the importance of locally owned small businesses, along with major industries, and getting in the trenches and advocating for both. Economic development is maximizing the use of development tools in order to reduce the cost of doing business, provide much-needed public infrastructure, and educating, training, and keeping a world class workforce.
Beyond my interactions with Tony with regards to job creation, what I have come to appreciate most about my friendship with Tony is his generous, thoughtful and compassionate disposition. Tony has the capacity to care about our country, his state and his county. In his mind, Tony knows the economic value of a deal and how to get a deal done. In his heart, Tony knows that helping businesses and industries thrive is the foundation that ultimately helps all individuals in the community achieve their full potential and provide for their families. I know few people who have this physical and emotional stamina. Tony is one of them.
All local governments are expected to lead a concerted effort to influence the direction of private sector investment toward opportunities that can lead to sustained economic growth, that provide industry investments, and provide job opportunities. This is, in essence, economic development. Tony knows, what I know, about economic development. It requires collaboration with a variety of people and organizations. It must involve the county and its municipalities. It must capitalize on their industrial heritage and capture windows of opportunity. It requires growing a tax base that allows his county to provide amenities, comforts, and essential services. It requires a leader who has the right mix of grit and charm needed to enhance his community through economic development to secure these qualities well into the future. It requires my friend Tony Morelli.
Patrick B. Ford