Running a business and business development are hard enough these days. We think that the position Mersen finds itself in as untenable and there is no excuse for it.
One would assume that when the original business (as Graphite Engineering under local ownership) moved to the industrial park, all of their governmental dealings would be with the city such as those related to services provided and taxing authority. Five or six expansions later, the company finds itself stretched to its property limits within the city. It has purchased additional land in the township adjacent to the city boundary which it hopes can be annexed to the city. The hope, obviously, is that their success may be multiplied.
Now, Mersen finds itself in the center of a tug-of-war between the city of Greenville and Eureka Township. Without complicating this discussion, the city is proposing one method of the sharing of tax revenues and application of its services (Public Act 108) and the township is proposing another (Public Act 425).
Eureka Township Supervisor Laura Shears states in our Oct. 9 article, “The city will not sit down and talk 425 and we will not sit down and talk 108. George (Greenville City Manager George Bosanic) is for the city and I am for the township.” She goes on to further state that all of this posturing has “nothing to do with the business.”
Hello! Wake up everybody. This discussion and decision have everything to do with the business. A successful business that was formerly locally owned is now part of an international conglomerate. While the business is managed locally, the shots are not all called here. This story should sound pretty familiar as we have been down this road before. We should have learned that loyalty takes us only as far as economic practicality will allow. Make it difficult, make it economically unfeasible and trouble will follow. Mersen General Manager Mitch Taylor is very right in stating, “We cannot make future plans without knowing what is going to happen.” The simple fact is that successful businesses plan.
The closing paragraph of our story about Mersen’s plans to invest $21.3 million dollars into a Bay County site sounds at once ominous and promising. Such expansion could happen here if our governmental units work in concert to make an already successful business even more so.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.