In response to the re-branding of Humboldt County away from being the pot capital of the world, the marketing folks have missed the point (“Rebranding Humboldt,” June 25). Humboldt does have a reputation as a pot-growing center, but it also has a reputation as being anti-business. Even if pot growing stopped today, most businesses would not invest in this area. There is no other reason to re-brand than to attract business and investment not already in the area. Business people already here have tried in vain to invest in virtually every type of business that could help the county. They have been blocked consistently by groups who oppose growth, oppose outsiders, oppose any environmental impact, oppose any competition, oppose, oppose and oppose.
Guess what? People with money to invest are not going to invest in an area where they are going to be blocked at every step.
Humboldt has some very good attributes. There is a large population of well educated people who need jobs. There is ample land and space for development. There is a consumer market. But none of the real ideas that could save this county from the destitution it is moving towards are being considered. Two years ago Verizon put a 600-person customer service center in a remote city in South Dakota. That city had almost the exact same characteristics as Humboldt County, with one exception — they wanted the business and they wanted the jobs.
This is the element that must change in this county if the economy is ever going to develop. The marketing job that is needed, before any other, is one that sells the idea of business growth and its benefits to the people of this county. Any other marketing project is just a waste of time and money.
Richard Grabowski, McKinleyville