Welcome aboard, City of Rock Hill. We thank you for your participation. We have quite a collaboration going in The Hive. We are set to launch on January 10.

Here’s some resources for you:

Wow. 4-3 vote huh? Well, Mr. Black and Mr. Reno had some positive remarks on the program and its collaborative nature before their No votes. Jim Reno even qualified his by saying that he would have approved a one-year, but not a two-year commitment.

I think Matt Garfield’s article in the Herald does a good job on presenting what John Black and Jim Reno articulated as their objections. They seemed to be rooted primarily in not wanting to spend the money on what they saw as a gamble in terms of whether or not it produces jobs. Instead, they each put forward an iteration of the idea of holding onto the money for an opportunity in the future that may be more about a relocation or expansion of a business in the Old Town area (especially with the textile corridor efforts in the works). There is currently a pot of money that is only so big, and with talks just now on how to create a revenue stream to replenish the fund. The $70k sought by the The Hive for the two year program equates to 16% of that fund. Thus, it’s a significant investment relatively speaking.

These are valid concerns, and I thank all of City Council members for being stewards of our community to the best of your ability.

I think the biggest disconnect here is on the definition of economic development. The Hive is powerful economic development. Or it’s an interesting experiment. For those who see the former, the support is a no-brainer. For those who see the latter, the program is still innovative and good, but the support is in question by the cost in relation to the available fund. Perspective is a wily lens.

Though I think the collaboration of York Tech, Winthrop, RHEDC, Comporium, RevenFlo, Becca and Harry Dalton, and others… plus the endorsement of the RHEDC, the York County Regional Chamber, the Old Town Association, and supportive citizens… plus with letters and emails of support submitted… plus the turn out of organizations in support… it would seem that we would need to understand why so many see this as powerful economic development. And I give council credit for listening and considering and voting their minds earnestly.

There seems to be a paradigm shift in the works here. The Hive is creating people and place and energy and work and connections and networking and opportunity. Is this economic development? The Hive’s not creating jobs. The marketplace will take care of that. Some will find their way to jobs, but even more will find their way to work. And therein lies the paradigm.

The people we work with through RevenFlo… They don’t want a job, they want work. They manage a portfolio of work. And if they take a job, it’s a part of a longer view of managing portfolios of work.

Work is something that you do, and a job is something that you have. Working is active; having a job is passive. The new services economy is based on people, whole people, who are creative and innovative and skilled and knowledgeable and willing to learn and evolve with opportunity to add value. The time and energy spent by these individuals on an organization’s needs is the service at hand. These guys and gals are paid to work, and they exist in a more free and fluid marketplace, than did the labor force of yesterday’s economy.

It’s a brave new world. We contract our accountants, lawyers, IT professionals, marketing, cleaning, office management, administration, and we contract our web teams. There is a lot of work in the web, and it’s growing significantly. Old Town already has a cluster of Web professionals who are very involved in the revitalization and energy of the place. That population is about to increase drastically.

I say The Hive is the most synergistic win the city could want to be handed on a plate, by a group of organized collaborative partners. What’s the alternative?