I had lunch today with my realtor. She mentioned hearing a recent economic forecast for Brevard County far rosier than the gloom and doom foretold by those who claim President Obama's proposed NASA FY 2011 budget means the end of the Space Coast.
Sure enough, the president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission says that Space Coast’s diverse economy is positioned for a rally in 2010.
"Brevard County is fortunate to have a truly diversified business footprint," says Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. "When one sector of the market faces an uncertain future, like that of the transiting space industry, others see great growth."
Some people, however, don't seem to get the message.
The article says that District 1 Commissioner Robin Fisher still clings to the notion that the Space Shuttle program can be extended to save his local economy. As I've written before, it's too impractical to extend Shuttle. A minimum of two years' wait will be required while a new external tank is manufactured in New Orleans. It would be foolish to pay 7,000 people to sit around for two years waiting for the next launch. It's not going to happen.
It's been six years since President Bush cancelled the Shuttle program in January 2004. Six years that local officials have failed to plan for this day. Some leaders — Fisher, Congresswoman Kosmas, Congressman Posey — still tell voters they will get the billions to extend Shuttle. Their dawdling only makes a bad situation worse.
But if the Economic Development Commission is right, at least the damage caused by their dawdling will be contained.