Warren eyes economic development post

Warren eyes economic development post


OPEN_FOR_BUSINESS_STILL-562x316Town councilors heading into Warren’s budget season will have a new position to consider — economic development coordinator.

In its budget request recently transmitted to town manager Thomas Gordon, Warren’s Economic Development Board asked that the town appropriate $80,000 per year for the new position. That comes out of a total request of $85,000 for the year.

The EDB’s Karen Dionne said this week that the proposed salary is likely much higher than what is needed for the job, but the number is a starting point geared at getting the ball rolling on discussion.

She said the proposed salary came in response to a detailed job description provided to the board by Mr. Gordon and council chairman Chris Stanley; board members went over that description and tried to come up with fair compensation for all those services:

“It’s a starting point,” she said. “There is a lot of good stuff in there that we would love to have; what we actually end up with is up for discussion.”

The job description includes 14 essential functions for which the coordinator would be responsible. They include:

* Planning, directing and organizing the town’s economic development activities.

* Proposing strategy to increase economic development in town.

* Serving as a liaison to the East Bay Chamber of Commerce, state and local merchants association, and others.

* Responding to inquiries about economic development from local residents.

* Develop a business and industry marketing program for the town.

* Serve as executive secretary of the Economic Development Board, and attend the board’s monthly meetings.

* Provide the town council with  twice-a-year reports.

Mr. Stanley said the list is subject to change; the main idea, he said, is to find someone who fits the town’s needs.

“The more fingerprints on this, the better,” he said. “Whether it’s a full or part time job or no job at all, that remains to be seen.”

Finding someone to help assist prospective business owners in Warren has long been a focus of the advisory board. Members have been discussing the need for such a person for several years, Ms. Dionne said.

Mr. Gordon plans to present his proposed town budget to the council by Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the latest.