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Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013
Pittsboro, NC - On Monday June 20, Joe Glasson of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) presented the list of applicants to fill the open and expiring seats on the EDC board.
The process to appoint members to this board is long and comprehensive. Applicants are actively recruited and notices are provided in the newspaper, civic groups, and many other means. Once applications are received, a sub-committee headed by Bud Merchant, of the CCCC, reviewed them and ranked each applicant to meet the goals of; strong economic growth ability, geographic diversity, and racial diversity. We want, to the extent possible, to have members who will not only actively work to promote economic growth but represent all aspects of Chatham County.
They then send the Board of Commissioners their recommendations for consideration. Generally speaking, the BOC acknowledges the work that went into getting the recommendations and makes few if any changes.
This year was a little different. The committee sent us 10 applicants to fill eight open positions. The majority of our board felt that to ensure the board remains effective we didn't want to expand the EDC board by another two members. Currently the full board has a total of 22 members (14 voting and eight ex-officio).
After reviewing the applications and considering the recommendations of the sub-committee, we felt each of the six nominations of new members were strong and would be positive additions to the board. The next decision was much more difficult. We now had four current members seeking to be reappointed but only two open seats. A strong argument can be made for each of the four but we had to choose two.
The process got a little confused after I made a motion to accept two of the applicants but then withdrew my motion in an attempt to compromise with Commissioner Kost. Commissioner Kost wanted to appoint one of the members that did not have majority support so she nominated another person. Initially I agreed and changed my motion to consider the applicant she preferred. The full board discussed the applicant and the rationale for appointing her over some of the others. After this discussion, four of us decided that we shouldn't disregard the work the nominating committee did and appoint someone who had not been recommended. In the end, we appointed eight citizens who will serve us well.
Brian Bock is a Chatham County Commissioner.
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