Doug Monda put it perfectly Monday night at the Loganville City Council meeting.
“There was great wisdom in putting this committee together,” he said. “The reality is, without this, the committee has no ability to do something. You may as well dissolve it.”
Monda is the chairman of the Loganville Development Authority, which in most circles would be considered in its infancy, having just been re-established less than a year ago. But this group is comprised of some people who have a vision in mind for the city and want to make sure there is some planning put into the growth of Loganville.
And boy do they have the right person at the helm in Monda. I have enjoyed working with him over the years. He and his wife founded Loganville Christian Academy and his financial background is sure to play an important role with the LDA. He put his know-how on display as he addressed the city leaders in asking them to back the committee as it seeks to establish a $7.5 million line of credit with a bank.
A development authority has the ability to buy and sell land, working as a separate entity from the city. The goal is to make enough money in doing these deals to become self-sufficient financially. But as Monda noted, without financial means, the LDA is just sitting around and talking about ideas. And sitting around and doing nothing wasn’t something the committee members were truly interested in doing. And rightly so. Government is littered with plenty of committees that are great at talking but provide little action.
The idea proposed, that will be voted on Thursday night, is that the city is only on the hook if the LDA purchases land that loses value and the bank wants to recoup losses. Having government backing like what is being proposed is common for many development authorities in the early stages and many do become self-reliant. The idea is the line of credit will allow the LDA to have flexibility should an opportunity arise, and Monda said there might be some good ones coming on the horizon. But with only $30,000 in the bank, there isn’t a lot the committee can do to sway future growth.
“The LDA is like a start-up company. We don’t have income right now but we want it to be a revenue generator,” Monda said. “Without a line of credit, it is dead in the water.”
This committee is made up of people hand-picked by each council member. I think it is time to give them something more to do than just talk.