Economic developer screening committee appointed by Woods

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lewisburg Mayor Barbara Woods has appointed four men to serve with her on a committee to screen applicants who want to be the city's next director of economic and community development.

The successful applicant would be hired by City Manager Eddie Fuller, although there has been considerable interest in the abilities of Terry Wallace's successor. Wallace is now working for the South Central Tennessee Workforce Development Board. It's based in Columbia.

Woods announced her selection last week after having consulted with the last individual on her list of prospective appointees.

They are: Eddie Wiles, a local banker who serves as chairman of the city's Industrial Development Board to which the economic and community development director reports; Mike Wiles, the executive director of the county-wide Joint Economic and Community Development Board; Edmund Roberts, chairman of the JECDB and of the city's Community Development Board; and Gary Davis who's: worked for Mead Container; served as a commissioner on the city's planning and zoning commission; and is president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

No meeting time, date or place was announced for the ad hoc screening committee. Woods said the panel would meet "after a while," meaning in "a couple of weeks." City Hall has been seen as a logical place for the panel's meeting location. The city IDB was scheduled to meet there on Monday at noon.

As a panel appointed by the mayor, the group is subject to the open meetings and open records laws. Various city leaders have expressed an interest in attending the committee's meetings, thereby indicating there can be no executive, or private session. Councilman Ronald McRady was vocal about wanting an open and transparent process toward the selection of a new director of economic and community development.

Councilman Robin Minor commented during and after a recent meeting of the city council that it's his preference that the names of the applicants not be widely known to protect a prospective applicant's current employment.