Warren eyes economic development coordinator


Warren's budget season is right around the corner, and town officials are considering creating a new position — an economic development coordinator to help prospective businesses moving in to town.

Talk on the matter was expected to start at Tuesday night's town council meeting, and there's no word yet whether the position will be full or part time, paid or unpaid. But councilors said they hope to have the details of the position clarified by the early part of the year.

"Whether it's a full or part time job or no job at all, that remains to be seen," council president Chris Stanley said.

The idea for hiring a coordinator was brought up first by Warren's Economic Development Board. Hearing consistently from current and would-be business owners that Warren can be "unfriendly" to new entrepreneurs, EDB members suggested the coordinator as a way to help business owners through the town's permitting and new business processes. Having someone to help newcomers navigate the town's many steps would help bring businesses to Warren, they told councilors during several meetings on the matter.

A four-page job description brought up for discussion Tuesday night includes 14 essential functions for which the coordinator would be responsible. They include:

n Planning, directing and organizing the town's economic development activities.

n Proposing strategy to increase economic developmetn in town.

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

n. Responding to inquiries about economic development from local residents.

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

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

n 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.

Warren EDB


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.