TCEDA Innovation Lab – another promise not kept

To the Editor:

In 2014 the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority (TCEDA) created a project called the Innovation Lab. The goal was to share technology information between product developers and entrepreneurs, with the ultimate goal of creating new small businesses and attracting jobs from the Bay Area. Having closed in August 2018, TCEDA has not been able to produce one single document showing one single accomplishment despite spending thousands of taxpayer dollars and telling the public over the past four years that it was a success.

After reviewing internal documents obtained through a new California Public Records Act (PRA) request to TCEDA, it turns out that the Innovation Lab was nothing more than a governmental give-a-way of office spaces to TCEDA board members and other governmental friends that believed TCEDA’s promises to create new jobs for local entrepreneurs and bring Bay Area hi-tech businesses to the county.

The Innovation Lab project can now be added to a growing list of promises not kept by TCEDA.

Ken Perkins


A very expensive farce

To the Editor:

I would like to make a brief comment about the Ken Perkins vs. TCEDA (Tuolumne County Economic Development Agency) lawsuit.

I read John Gray’s comments about the whole thing and agree with him 100 percent. This appears to be a private grudge that not only has tax payers paying way too much money to solve this, but the expense of much time, energy and stress for all involved. And, it was pretty much aimed at one person, Larry Cope.

If you know Larry Cope or had worked with him on a business project, you’d know that he is one of those types of people who “is the job.” He doesn’t turn off at 10 p.m., weekends, or vacations if he has a client who needs an answer. It has been very sad to see the disappointment and stress he’s undergone as well as the stress and frustration of the entire Board of Supervisors.

The TCEDA is here to help people with start-up businesses. The process can be slow and laborious. Wouldn’t Mr. Cope’s time be best spent helping people, not fighting lawsuits?

Had anyone been to the various meetings where long lines of happy clients of Mr. Cope’s stood up to express their gratitude for his kindness and good wisdom, you’d see that this very expensive farce has gone on too long. We are glad it is over.

Charlene Wrighton