Delaware North deserves thanks for its philanthropy

Erie County should be doing everything in its power to encourage and support construction of a new downtown headquarters for one of our area’s largest employers. Not only would the proposed building be energy efficient and environmentally friendly, but it would draw customers from around the world to Buffalo to sample products and services at its global headquarters. County tax coffers would benefit substantially from the estimated $94 million construction costs and the 65 new high-paying corporate jobs.

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s purpose “is to promote economic development … and advance job opportunities and the general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of Erie County through the creation or retention of jobs.” Clearly, this project falls within the IDA’s mission.

What’s most disturbing, though, is that this issue has turned from what should be an economically based decision into an inflammatory attack on our area’s most generous philanthropists. The Jacobs family has beneficently, and with little fanfare, donated millions of dollars to improve the health (the Jacobs Institute at Buffalo General Medical Center and Roswell Park), education (University at Buffalo and Say Yes) and general welfare (the United Way) of the taxpayers of Erie County. We should be thanking them instead of attacking them.

Jane C. Hettrick