Working proactively with existing businesses, targeting restrictive state regulations and formulating a “capture strategy” to attract new companies are areas where Washington County officials hope to improve economic development efforts, speakers said Wednesday morning.
Held as part of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s “Eggs and Issues” breakfast at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, the presentation set an attendance record, chamber President Brien J. Poffenberger said.
The talk came on the heels of the county’s dismissal of Economic Development Director Timothy R. Troxell, who had been scheduled to speak about the county’s economic status.
In his place, Economic Development Commission Chairman Hal Lucas, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray, and county Commissioner William B. McKinley spoke about the future of economic development in the county.
None of the speakers explicitly addressed Troxell’s dismissal, but they did point to areas where they saw room for improvement.
“On the EDC staff and in the county, we ought to know what your problems are,” Lucas told the local business leaders at the breakfast. “Not when you run in the door and say, ‘Hey I need help working around this plan,’ or ‘How do I do this?’ We ought to be out ahead of that and understanding what your needs are, and reaching out to the community, and we’ve not done that well enough.”