Panama City Beach Chamber News
Bay County EDA Redux
Recently, the EDA name has been sullied with mistakes that were made in the past. Deleted emails and incomplete "vetting" regarding a project that was funded and failed have not helped the new image that we are trying to establish for the EDA. But the proof is in the pudding!
As of January 2012, the EDA is a new, not-for-profit corporation with new leadership and a renewed focus on both attracting new jobs and growing them from within. Within the first month, we established a new project vetting process to make sure that any project brought to local governments for incentive funding was reviewed by several sets of eyes. The EDA took the role of making sure that a project met the financial tests before taxpayer funds were used to create the jobs.
I met with the media before I was announced as the new EDA director. One thing I promised was transparency with both the media and our investing partners. Every month at the EDA investor meeting, we outline the organizationís current financial situation and the current project activity. We adhere to confidentiality with our active projects as we should. But, we provide a broad summary of the type of projects in the pipeline as well as their potential job impact. (A summary of projects is below.)
And, for the record, I received a comprehensive briefing from the previous director on all existing projects and EDA activities prior to assuming this position. There was a seamless transition on active projects, many of which are still in the pipeline.
It has been my operating process since becoming director in January that we retain all emails and project information. We do this because it's good business and because it's the appropriate way to operate.
The EDA is blessed to have great volunteer leadership and super investors. These companies and individuals believe that the EDA can make a very positive difference in Bay County. With the new jobs that will be created, peopleís lives can be changed. The local economy can grow. Thatís really what itís all about in the first place.
The EDA has three professional staff members who come to work everyday with the goal of building our economy and serving our constituency. I am extremely proud of our team, our leadership and our investors. Now, let's get back to business! Click HERE
to view the EDA's current projects.