Would someone please help me make sense of Ken Oplinger’s recent comment regarding Whatcom County’s population growth for the past year?
On June 25, the state’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) released its annual population data as of April 1. While the state saw population growth of 0.74% (49,870 people), Whatcom County’s population grew by 0.69% (1,400 people). According to OFM, "The pattern of modest growth the state has been experiencing the last few years continues in 2012."
The 1,400-person increase in Whatcom County includes a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 1,061 and net migration (people arriving minus people leaving) of 339.
On its website, local radio station KGMI posted a brief article yesterday (Whatcom Population Sees Slow Growth) reporting that Oplinger, who serves as president of the local chamber of commerce, claims “one reason for the slow population growth is because cities like Bellingham aren't doing enough to encourage job growth.”
In a 12-second audio blurb on KGMI's site, Oplinger actually says:
"The openness of government entities to give permits and get people building commercial entities that create jobs here is lacking. And... [if] you're not building businesses that are creating jobs, then you're not adding people to the community."
What exactly is Oplinger trying to say?
That not adding more people to the community is a major problem we need to address?
That we must create jobs so we can add more people to the community?
How is that not wagging the dog?
Please, would someone help me make sense of this…