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Search for new EDC director begins

September 26, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

After months without a permanent Economic Development Commission director, Washington County is starting to search for a replacement.

Ads will start running in local and regional newspapers in the next few days, Alan Davis, the county's human resources director, said Wednesday. The county will place ads in economic development publications and post the position within county government.

The position will be advertised at grade 17, which has a salary range of $51,400 to $82,239.

Applications will be accepted until the end of October, Davis said.

The former executive director, John Howard, went on paid administrative leave in March and retired May 8. The county announced his retirement on June 11.

Timothy Troxell, who was assistant director under Howard, is the acting director.

Troxell said Wednesday that he will apply for the job. "I hope I'm being considered," he said.

Howard's salary was $82,067.

Citing a confidentiality agreement, the Washington County Commissioners and other county officials have refused to disclose Howard's retirement compensation.

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Some commissioners have said they would disclose the compensation if there weren't a confidentiality agreement. On Sept. 5, Commissioner William J. Wivell sued the commission - including himself - and demanded that the information be released.

During their weekly meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners approved a new structure for the Economic Development Commission's five employees.

There will be new job requirements, but no difference in pay.

In an interview Wednesday, Troxell described said the changes - a business development specialist will replace the assistant director, a fiscal/research specialist will replace the administrator and an office administrator will replace the administrative assistant.

EDC Chairman Douglas Wright Jr. asked the county commissioners to upgrade the office administrator from grade 7 to grade 9.

Commissioner William J. Wivell objected and the other commissioners agreed that grade 7 was appropriate.

According to Davis, the salary range for a grade 7 associate is $23,808 to $38,093, while the range for a grade 9 manager is $27,770 to $44,431.

The commissioners agreed to let the next director fill the other four positions in the office.

Wright told the commissioners that EDC's allocation for travel expenses will increase to about $26,000 in the next budget, or at least $20,000 more than it is now.

The new business development specialist will "hopefully be out of the office" frequently promoting Washington County, Wright told the commissioners.

Most travel will be by car, but some will be by airplane, Wright said.

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