EDP director could be hired in August

Partnership hoping to gain more members by then

The Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership's board of directors has delayed the hiring of a new director until the Partnership's affairs are put in order.

Though board members agree that a delay could cause some of the more than 60 candidates who applied for the position to find other employment or change their minds, it is believed the decision will result in a more widely accepted final choice.

"We'll probably lose some candidates, but we want to make a good decision," board member Scott Cook said.

The board narrowed the field to 11 candidates and last month talked to six or seven who were still interested in the position.

Board members believe they can have a new director hired by August, but felt several things needed to be done before they could get serious about filling the position.

"One of the biggest reasons it was put on hold is we didn't think we had enough money to even hire anyone," Cook said. "What we're trying to do now is get all the members we can."

The EDP's former director was paid $60,000 a year and a similar salary was advertised for the position.

The board held a meeting June 25 to solicit memberships. The Partnership is funded by contributions. The city and county each pledge $25,000 annually. Private contributions totaled $18,250 in 2002 from 15 businesses.

Since the June meeting, Cook estimates four to five new memberships were gained, but the level of their contributions has not been tallied.

The board has set a July 31 deadline for individuals and businesses to join the partnership if they would like to participate in the election of a new board of directors.

That election is the second reason the board decided to hold off on hiring a director.

Not only is money tight, the current board was not elected according to the Partnership's bylaws.

"The board didn't feel like it was right for them to chose a new director," Cook said. "We wanted people to elect a board and for that board to hire the director."

The bylaws state that EDP members vote to elect board members who are nominated from among the membership.

Businesses that contribute $250 or more are considered members. The EDP's revised bylaws state that each contributor of $250 or more will have one vote in electing board members.

Those bylaws have not been formally adopted.

In the EDP's early stages, board members were chosen by a steering committee and vacancies were filled by the board from the short list of businesses that had contributed.

Now, the board wants to grow the EDP's membership so that a new board of directors can be formally elected.

"We're going to involve the new membership to try to get everyone on board," board member Dave Dempster said. "We don't want to leave anybody behind. We want them to get on board so we can move forward together."

After July 31, nominations for board members will be sought from members then members will vote to form a board. That board will elect officers, hopefully adopt the revised bylaws and then go about hiring a new director.

"We hope to be in a position by mid-August to hire a new director," Dempster said.

At the June meeting, the Partnership also circulated a survey asking participants to outline what they wanted to see in the new director.

Most wrote that they wanted a people person, Dempster said.

"(The survey results) were positive," he said. "They specifically helped us to measure our thoughts with what everyone else was thinking and I think we're on the same page there."

The surveys have been reviewed by board members, but have not been formally compiled.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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