The municipalities of Commerce, Jefferson and Braselton propose to reorganize the structure of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce to give the cities more control over industrial developments.
Last week, John Ward, Jefferson city manager, sent an e-mail to the chamber board proposing that the cities and Jackson County fund a position within the chamber to handle economic development — a person who would answer to a five-member board comprising representatives from each of the three cities, one from the county and one elected by the chamber’s Alliance for Economic Development.
“The cities view economic development as one of our highest priorities due to the fact that the significant majority of property zoned for industry is located within our jurisdictions,” Ward explained. “We have all heavily invested in our infrastructure to support industry, a growing tax digest and job creation for our citizens. With the current plan of the chamber to hire one person to serve as both chamber president and economic developer, we fear that adequate attention to economic development will not be possible."
Mark Valentine, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, said the chamber is reviewing the proposal.
“We have, Bryan (Dearing, interim president) and I met with the three city managers and Kevin Poe, (Jackson County manager) in the past week,” Valentine said. “We agreed to meet next Thursday (May 30), to give us an opportunity to look over their plans and come back with our comments and thoughts. The devil is going to be in the details.”
For the full story, see the My 29 edition of The Commerce News.
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