The disagreements over the county’s economic development strategies began back in 2013, when the SEDC denied the then Saratoga County Board of Supervisors request to appoint elected officials to their board. The Board of Supervisors promptly ended their connections with the SEDC, and the Prosperity Partnership, led by county lawmakers, was founded in 2014.
On Monday, Feb. 28, the Board of Supervisors of the Prosperity Partnership made the decision to cease their efforts following the resignation of organization employees, including President and CEO Shelby Schneider who left to join the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) as Deputy Director in June of 2021.
Over the years, the Prosperity Partnership has tried to rive the SEDC, which is ran by business leaders from the private sector. After reportedly spending over $5 million in taxpayer’s money, the Partnership brought fewer than 60 jobs to the region. Whereas the SEDC reportedly received just over $250,000 from taxpayers and brought over 1,000 jobs to the region in the 6-year period from 2013 to 2019.
In 2019, the SEDC signed an annual contract to resume working with the county.
“We have worked very hard the last couple of years to build consensus on economic development initiatives while focusing on the needs of our community and maintaining the evolution,” stated SEDC President Dennis Brobston on behalf of the organization. “We learned a tremendous amount about alternative ways to do economic development. SEDC took a very hard look at the way we do business and found ways to improve.
Brobston added, “We focused our efforts on diversifying the business community in Saratoga County and working with our partners such as the three IDA’s [Industrial Development Agency] and all of the town boards. We have been working for business in Saratoga County since 1978 and we don’t expect to stop anytime soon”.
The Prosperity Partnership will finish out their consulting contract with Tim Dunn of Dunn Strategies (Malta) in the month of March; all remaining business will be handled by the county’s planning and economic development department.