EDP up for another at-bat | CraigDailyPress.com

EDP up for another at-bat

Economic partnership decides on part-time director position

Collin Smith

In other action

At its Nov. 14 meeting, the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership:

• Discussed new membership dues. The group will bill members for 2007 dues within the next 60 days.

There are only about five members that have paid their 2007 dues, Dave Fleming, EDP treasurer said. Part of the reason the group’s finances are uncertain for next year is because it does not know how many members will pay this year’s or next year’s contributions.

• Discussed the 2008 dues structure. Member dues are expected to decrease, but board members still are working out the finer details.

• Discussed making its Web site a budgetary focus. Members felt the group’s Internet presence should be revamped and include a sales pitch outlining economic incentives for people abroad to live and work here.

— In Craig’s competitive job market, the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership received five applications for its open executive position.

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One is from a man who lives out of town, but who owns the Serendipity Coffee Shop building.

The other four are locals and natives.

The only problem with selecting somebody is that the position has changed, or, more accurately, it has been clarified.

EDP’s murky financial future, which was clouded by controversy about whether or not Moffat County would contribute funds, has been partially resolved.

Moffat County officials notified Scott Cook, EDP Board of Directors chairman, that the county will not fund the group in 2008.

Board member Dave Fleming, who also is the manager of Moffat County National Bank, told the group Commissioner Tom Gray had called him and said the Moffat County Commission would look at funding the group in the future, depending on EDP’s progress.

With that information, the EDP budget is in sharper focus, and the board decided what kind of executive figure they will pursue.

Partly.

The position is slated as a specialist, instead of its former director title, “to tone down some of the expectations” of whomever might eventually assume that role, said Scott Ford, interim director.

It is a part-time job, about 24 hours a week, which the board plans to pay $2,500 per month after taxes and worker’s compensation insurance.

The position is not planned to have other benefits, though training is included.

Financial concerns played a role in the board’s decision.

“We are not going to be able to afford a stud,” Cook said.

The last two directors, Tom Flavin and Tim Gibbs, had some training in economic development, but also were the best candidates EDP could afford.

The extra money spent there did not necessarily translate into better results, Ford said.

Some board members were concerned a part-time position would not attract the right candidates – those with professional experience.

“If we go with a part-time position, we may get someone who doesn’t have all the qualifications we’re looking for,” said Mike Anson, an EDP member who attended the meeting. “Are we not going backwards from what we told the community we are trying to do?”

Other members, including Cook and Ford, did not want the group to overextend itself, and said the position really is in the hands of the person who takes the job.

EDP members are aware of the area’s economy – its strengths, such as high wages and plentiful jobs, and its shortcomings, such as an underperforming retail industry and little entrepreneurship from the public, Ford said.

The new position should not be writing policy, but performing the objectives the board gives that person, he added.

Christina Currie, Craig Chamber of Commerce director, agreed.

The board should hire the right person, someone who will stay and become invested. It can budget for training later, she said.

However, Currie did not see the point in budgeting for years in the future. The position is what someone makes it, she said, and whether there is need or money for that position depends on his or her successes.

“Basically, this person is coming for a year, and this person can stay longer if this person makes it a two-year job or a five-year job,” Currie said.

The board will re-post advertisements for the position locally and nationally, and include its projected salary figures.

If nobody answers the call, EDP will be closer to defining what kind of position they are looking to fill, Ford said.

The new ads also may shake loose some individuals that didn’t think they had the best qualifications, he added.

People interested in the position or in finding out more about EDP can call Cook at Cook Chevrolet, 824-2100.

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

In other action

At its Nov. 14 meeting, the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership:

• Discussed new membership dues. The group will bill members for 2007 dues within the next 60 days.

There are only about five members that have paid their 2007 dues, Dave Fleming, EDP treasurer said. Part of the reason the group’s finances are uncertain for next year is because it does not know how many members will pay this year’s or next year’s contributions.

• Discussed the 2008 dues structure. Member dues are expected to decrease, but board members still are working out the finer details.

• Discussed making its Web site a budgetary focus. Members felt the group’s Internet presence should be revamped and include a sales pitch outlining economic incentives for people abroad to live and work here.