JECDB to vote on new director

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Four Marshall County mayors have nominated a local resident to be elected by a 21-member panel to execute their efforts for economic and community development.

The nominee is to face the Joint Economic and Community Development Board on Tuesday next week in Lewisburg City Hall, where the panel continues to operate under an agreement fraught with conflict.

No provision exists in the inter-local agreement on how an executive director should be selected, according to County Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Neill.

Furthermore, given the ongoing dispute over funding and relative authority between the county and its four municipalities in the JECDB, board member Elizabeth McDow has asked: Would the board be acting responsibly if it offered the job given political unrest?

It's a job that Neill says must include performance standards, although such requirements haven't been set yet.

Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips nominated one of the several semi-finalists who last winter were selected by a search committee that met and interviewed applicants behind closed doors. Cornersville Mayor Amos Davis seconded Phillips' nomination.

Names and application forms of the semi-finalists were released by JECDB Attorney Bob Binkley because of an order by Chancellor J.B. Cox after a petition to the court asking that the board be directed to show cause why it should be exempt from the state law that guarantees public access to government records. State law was upheld.

JECDB executive committee members previously refused to hold open interviews or name any of the applicants because the form provided to applicants included the question, Do you have any objections to your present employer being contacted? Some of the applicants, including the current nominee, indicated they didn't want their employer to know they were looking for another job.

The nominee's application, dated Jan. 2, was obtained from the Tennessee Career Center located at Columbia State Community College on South Ellington Parkway. The college and the center are separate entities.

According to public records, obtained subsequent to the chancellor's order, the nominee was endorsed by Ritaanne Weaver, executive director of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, ...Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesay, June 4, 2008 for entire coverage