Nate Carter, I am glad you have high hopes for the future of local news. But tell me, why should an editorial department listen to a salesperson about content generation? I'm sure you have an intelligent perspective, but the mingling of news with sales in any way is exactly where journalism should not be going.
But this is beside the point. Consider Mr. Carter's grand homage to Huffington Post's (over) aggregation techniques:
Keep scraping content. This should be done at HQ. Have 4 or 5 low-level staffers at Patch HQ who just content scrape from around the nation. We all hate it, but see point #2. This could be managed with simple Google News alerts and a copy and paste technique. If they perform well they could be promoted to the Huffington Post.