Our view: Mr. Claudet, don’t throw baby out with the bathwater

The Terrebonne Economic Development Authority’s future is completely uncertain as we head into the future.

Board members for TEDA finalized former CEO Steve Vassallo’s departure this week, ending his tenure with the organization.

His full-time replacement is uncertain, as no one is fully certain that TEDA will exist into the future thanks to Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet’s push to drop parish funding for the economic entity.

This newspaper has detailed the entire TEDA situation throughout the past couple of weeks.

It has become obvious as details have emerged that Claudet and Vassallo do not, and have not ever seen eye-to-eye.

Each side accuses the other of agendas and subplots regarding the reasons why, but those issues are not relevant to the conversation.

The point that needs to be made is that our area’s economic development is vital for the future.

The concept of TEDA is one that should be nurtured, not eliminated.

By all economists’ measures, the Tri-parish area is currently in a boom. Multiple forecasts state that the Gulf of Mexico has returned to pre-BP levels – some forecasts even tout that the work levels are greater than they were before the spill.

What’s even better is that the same forecasts tout that growth is going to continue into the immediate future. Projects by LSU-based economist Loren Scott tout the Tri-parish area as being one of the fastest growing places in the entire state.

We got to that perch by giving our full time and attention to growing our economy. To change what has proven to be a winning formula would be a move that we’d label careless and unfortunate to our area.

TEDA is not perfect – no entity is. But its sheer dismissal would be an over-reaction that would leave the parish worse off tomorrow than it is today with it in place.

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Our economy has thrived in the recent years with TEDA in existence.

It’s time our local leaders sit down and hash this thing out.

There’s no sense in ending what has proven to be a pretty good thing for the people of this area.