County restores EDC, alters operational model

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 09:32 AM.

Back to the future.

A narrowly divided Board of County Commissioners agreed to move the Economic Development Council out from under the board’s umbrella and to tweak the operational model for at least the next two years.

Commissioners also agreed to restore pledged funding from the county of $80,000 per year and to leave EDC executive director Barry Sellers as an employee separate from the BOCC and Chamber of Commerce, reporting to a five-member board that will be selected by the Chamber.

Commissioners Joanna Bryan, Ward McDaniel and Tan Smiley approved the move; Commissioners Warren Yeager and Carmen McLemore dissented.

The BOCC had late last year voted to move the EDC under the umbrella of the BOCC. That was less than two years into a five-year plan that consolidated the Chamber and EDC and also brought in Sellers after a nationwide search for an EDC director.

At the time, the board appointed county administrator Don Butler as the point of contact for economic development.

Chamber president Guerry Magidson urged commissioners to reconsider that decision and asked that the board restore the EDC as an agency outside of the BOCC and Chamber, restore funding at $80,000 a year from the county.

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