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"Keep the Dollars Going Round - Not Out"

Economically we analyzed what could be grown, made, or provided here rather than bought elsewhere, and provided incentives, training and investment capital to seed that transformation. We created a lot of small, light manufacturing and production jobs and service businesses. The guiding principle was "Keep the Dollars Going Round - Not Out". Once we recognized the investment wealth of new arriving local retirees, financial instruments were created to encourage that wealth to be invested locally at good rates of return - fueling local productivity. A wonderful side effect was that those retiring elders, after investing their money locally, began using their considerable business and technical skills to help the business and financial communities, thus insuring their investment success, and providing the coast with a new brain trust to call on.

While other communities strangled themselves by desperately trying to "attract new business to town", we quietly set about reducing importation which had accounted for most of our goods and many of our services. As we learned to provide for ourselves, we created jobs and businesses that kept dollars circulating here at home instead of exporting money to absentee owners. We bought and sold the same stuff, but ended up with four to eight times as much real wealth as the money went "round and round". We reinvested at home rather than in the global investment markets. When we exported, we sold value added products, never just raw materials. This revitalized both our forest and marine based resources. We grew productively in education, food production, small fabrication and manufacturing, tourism, retail, and the arts.

Some say that the turning point came with all the various local stakeholders sucessfully creating a plan for managing and preserving the integrity of our marine fisheries and resources. Aided by new technologies and new understanding of biological cycles, our coastal fisheries have significantly recovered, as have the forests. The dedicated work of local stakeholders in articulating a similar approach to our forest based abundance proved that the best management is locally generated. Each is now being managed for ecological health and sustained economic productivity. We harvest and use the appropriate types and amounts of both timber and fish, and businesses that add value to both of those raw resources are thriving. We don't export fish and timber so much as raw materials, but rather as value added products. This is producing more wealth for more businesses, creating lots of good jobs, and supporting the sustainable management of our fisheries and forests.

Town government led the way, and in cooperation with a renewed local financial sector worked to expand and solidify our "commons" Various new projects emerged as desirable additions to the capacity of the coast to serve its residents, and attract visitors without becoming another "coastal theme park" type of community. The "Many New Centers" plan took shape. Eventually we added: the "Industrial Arts Center" which housed a fine woodworking gallery; the "Marine Research Center" which located on the south end of the old mill site; the "Pomo Cultural Center" which became a favorite visitor destination; the expanded and transformed "College of the Redwoods" campus with an increased range vocational training programs and gradually developing four year degree programs; the completed "City Surrounded By Parks" project offered one of the finest natural coastal community trails and outdoor recreation opportunities in the state; a small state of the art hospital emerged, incorporating the finest technologies for supplying long distance medical services; and the new "Convention Center" anchoring the vibrant and diversified tourist segment of the economy.

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updated ECONOMICS : Charles Bush
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