Cumberland Times-News

March 11, 2014

Just deliver

Too much talk about jobs and not enough action

Cumberland Times-News

— Everyone talks about jobs, but nobody does anything about them.

Forgive our cynicism, but with another gubernatorial election season upon us, every candidate in the field will be telling Western Marylanders how they plan to create jobs the next four years — and everyone of them is unlikely to deliver.

Two governor-wannabes, Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler, came into town this week looking for votes and talking about the local economy.

 Brown spoke specifically about the coal industry and the possibility of permitting hydraulic fracking for natural gas.

Gansler touted his campaign slogan, “Fighting for You: Jobs for All Maryland.” He said the state needs to recruit companies and ask, “What do you need to come to Cumberland?”

We’re not singling out Brown and Gansler. There will be other candidates who will follow and will talk about the local economy and the lack of jobs.

What really is needed are specific actions. Assign a full-time state economic development officer and staff to Western Maryland to work on bringing jobs here. Increase tax credits and lower loan rates to help businesses locate in the region. Look at Maryland’s economic and tax disparities with neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia — and then fix them. Find a commuter air service for the Greater Cumberland Airport. Find ways to fill up the vacant buildings in downtown Cumberland.

While much of Maryland is rebounding from the recession, the bounce back has not occurred here. We’d love to see our cynicism disproved by Maryland’s next governor.