Some of those who were eager to see Stanislaus County dump Gerry Kamilos as the master developer for the former Crows Landing Naval Air Field seemed to think there would be a lineup of developers interested in this project.
So far, the line is pretty short.
Last week's mandatory meeting of prospective developers attracted only about 15 people, and of those, only a few represented developers with a serious interest and the potential to turn the 1,500-acre facility into a much-anticipated jobs center.
Kamilos sent a representative to the meeting, who said he is considering making a proposal. That's in line with what Kamilos said last summer, after the county ended its former relationship with him.
Two Fresno real estate brokers said they represented Matthews Southwest development company of Texas and they said it will submit a proposal.
One other person asked whether the county would entertain proposals from foreign developers. The answer is yes; the request for proposals went out internationally.
The county has set a Feb. 1 deadline for proposals, which might seem like ample time since the county cut off Kamilos in late August. But it's not a long period for a project of this magnitude or given the many economic uncertainties of this time, in the United States and around the globe.
The county should stand by its position that the airfield should be used only for business and industrial purposes. Homes were not part of Kamilos' West Park plan and they should not be part of whatever proposal the county opts for in this second go round.
We agree with county leaders that Crows Landing has great long-term potential as a business-industrial center, creating many jobs. "Long term" are the key words. One of the brokers attending Friday's meeting suggested that the county's timeline for jobs might be too optimistic.
If the county only ends up in mid-January with one or two submitted proposals, we think officials should consider extending the deadline or modifying the marketing strategy to try to attract a larger number of proposals.