Who Does the RCGA Serve and Can We Do Better?

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If you haven't seen it yet, KMOV took to task RCGA President and CEO, Dick Fleming, for ignoring repeated requests for an interview (video below). The most important issue here is not Dick Fleming himself and it serves little purpose to fixate on him. Was his $1.8M salary from 2008-2009 a lot? Sure. But what is the budget of RCGA? What positive result has their staff of nearly 40 produced? What's being achieved with the millions spent on marketing, meetings and galas? The KMOV piece needs and deserves extensive follow-up with a focus on RCGA's role and what we, as a region, need to do better.

Here's hoping that Tim Logan at the Post-Dispatch, who's been asking the right questions on Twitter, will dig in a bit more and help the rest of us better understand the RCGA. As Tim has noted, the RCGA serves its members in the business community and not necessarily the region as a whole. In the KMOV piece we see that the Mayor of Fenton doesn't believe that his community has received even $900 worth of services from the RCGA, the dollar amount of their annual membership. The big issue? The St. Louis region doesn't have a publicly accountable regional economic development organization, and the publicly accountable East-West Gateway Council of Governments doesn't appear able to tell us what the RCGA does.

Watch the video below, but let's make sure we're asking the right questions. The RCGA has an important stated mission, "To unite the region's business community and to engage dynamic business and civic leadership to develop and sustain a world-class economy and community." The issue should be how well they address this task and if there's a better way to do so for the region.

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  • mogreenie

    This so-called news story was a hack job, not much better than what James O’Keefe did to ACORN and to NPR. The difference: Channel 4 ought to know better.

    There is the opportunity for good journalism to be done on the role RCGA has played over Fleming’s tenure. I’m not necessarily Mr. Fleming’s biggest fan. But my big takeaway from this piece was: if Craig Cheetham want’s an interview, I’m gonna tell him where to stick it.

  • stev0205

    So their membership is voluntary? At least people can vote with their wallets on this one..?

  • Matguy7071

    I also dropped our RCGA membership a few years ago. The agency did NOTHING for us for an entire year. Never offered us ANY TYPE of services and help in business. The organization is nothing more than a scam in my opinion!