Twin Cities economic development guru slated for $450K salary

Money: the Itasca Project wants yours

Money: the Itasca Project wants yours

A business partnership called the Itasca Project wants the public's help paying a $400,000 to $450,000 salary for its CEO. That means your money. Yeah--you, with the crappy salary and the tight budget.


The Itasca Project, a business coalition focused on regional economic development, takes its name from the legendary Itasca Seminars, which we wrote about in July. Itasca was an annual week-long gathering of community leaders, where everyone put their heads together to work on regional problems.

The new Itasca wants to bring more businesses to the Twin Cities and keep jobs here. Apparently, someone with the power to make this happen costs a lot to hire. As the Strib reports this morning, the price tag is a little steep for several local officials

"That number kind of made me blink," Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson told the Strib's Steve Brandt.

We have to admit, we're with Johnson on this one. Still, the cities are on board overall with the project. Itasca is asking the public sector to fund 20 to 30 percent of its $2.8 million initial budget, Brandt reports. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has already pledged $150,000, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman $125,000, though both city councils still must approve those sums.