Don’t start looking for bottom-line job creation from the county’s new economic development department, commissioners are saying, even as the county’s tax-funded efforts will be judged overwhelmingly by net new jobs that can be attributed to their existence.
Economic Development Council
Flagler County’s newly formed jobs council voted to offer Helga van Eckert the top executive job at the county government’s economic development agency. Van Eckert beats out Chris Clifton, who came in second, and Bruce Register, who came in third.
None of the three candidates for the $100,000 job lacked in confidence, experience or enthusiasm, and each projecting enough qualities but sharply different temperaments to make a choice between them difficult. That choice may be made Friday.
Some candidates were worried that they’d be expected to create 200 jobs in their first year, though candidates have also been raising concerns over the checkered political history of economic development in Flagler County.
Flagler County’s economic development council conducted seven phone interviews over four hours this afternoon, hoping to pare down its list to three or four candidates who’d be interviewed in person.
Despite enduringly high unemployment and a year of fraying rather than unity among local governments, the county hosted an intergovernmental summit Tuesday that piled back-patting on exclamation marks.
Not a single candidate got unanimity from all nine council members. Only one candidate got eight votes but the circumstances of his departure from his last job are very cloudy.
Flagler’s nine-member Economic Development Council conducted the equivalent of a meet-and-greet for itself on Tuesday and promptly reversed a promise that all meetings would be televised live, opting instead for audio broadcasts.
The seven men and two women on the economic development council have more business than racial, political or geographic diversity, with one voice from western Flagler and one–Revels–from Flagler Beach.