by Logan Gruber
At the Nov. 2 city council meeting, the Economic Development Authority presented a recommendation to the city council to hire a full-time community development director in 2016.
The community development director would, in part: establish and administer an economic growth plan for the city; develop and administer city planning policies and procedures; plan projects; coordinate Planning Commission activities; and more.
The city used to have a community planner who reported to the EDA, but that was years ago. The EDA is currently served by a contractor who is hired one-day-per-week at a cost of around $30,000 per year. Cynthia Smith-Strack, the current contractor, has resigned her position for 2016.
The proposed position would have a salary of between $55,620-75,692, not including benefits. In previous budget discussions, council members Bob Loso and Matt Killam have raised doubts as to whether it is worth it at this time.
At the meeting, council members Loso, Killam and Renee Symanietz opposed the hiring of a community development director as advised by the EDA. Mayor Rick Schultz asked the three to return with alternative ideas of how to handle economic activity in the city.