Mayor Forms Yet Another Committee

| April 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Latest Committee To Study Economic Development

Annapolis Mayor, Joshua Cohen has announced the formation of yet another committee to study economic development and report back with recommendations of an operational structure.

From the press release issued by City Hall:

To advance the City’s economic development efforts, Mayor Joshua J. Cohen is announcing the formation of a working group of business leaders and City officials to recommend an operational structure and implementation plan for the City’s economic development function.

Mayor Cohen has set a deadline of May 15 for this 12-person team to issue its recommendations. The expedited timetable will enable the full City Council to have the benefit of the recommendations before it finalizes the fiscal year 2011 budget later that month. The mayor effectively dissolved the Department of Economic Affairs in his proposed budget, but he set aside $400,000 for economic development functions.

“Economic development is my top priority,” Mr. Cohen said. “There have been enough studies. Now it’s time to start putting the pieces together. Our businesses are hungry for the City to step up its efforts, and I am committed to growing our businesses and bringing in more jobs.”

Among other issues, the working group will recommend whether to restructure the economic development function as a public-private corporation or keep it as a City governmental function. It will also recommend a specific framework for future operations such as bylaws and funding sources.

The Economic Development Working Group will be co-chaired by City Attorney Karen Hardwick and Fred Delavan, an attorney at Blumenthal, Delavan & Williams.

Ms. Hardwick has more than a decade of experience in economic development matters in Washington. She served as General Counsel for the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., an economic development initiative charged with revitalizing the communities along the Anacostia River. Mr. Delavan played a significant role in establishing the structure of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., a quasi-government nonprofit that
functions as Anne Arundel County’s economic development arm.

Other members are:

  • Ald. Ross Arnett, Chair, Rules and City Government Committee
  • Ald. Classie Hoyle, Chair, Finance Committee

  • Ald. Fred Paone, Chair, Economic Matters Committee

  • Bob Burdon, president and CEO of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce

  • Connie Del Signore, president and CEO of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Conference and Vistors Bureau

  • Dick Franyo, Owner of Boatyard Bar and Grill

  • Rick Morgan, president and CEO of CommerceFirst Bank

  • Midgett Parker, partner with Linowes and Blocher LLP

  • Doug Smith, Chief Administrative Officer

  • Chuck Walsh, Chair of the Mayor’s Economic Development Idea Transition Team

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