Sidebar: Business: Jeanne Krueger named interim director of the Rome Floyd Chamber, effective Jan. 24. Chamber
Amid changes to how Rome/Floyd County recruit and retain industry, the group that could wind us with jurisdiction over future recruiting has a new lineup. On Tuesday, new members of the Rome-Floyd Development Authority were sworn in by Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach. There are:
- Pete McDonald, member at-large, who previously had a seat as the chair of the Rome Floyd Chamber. McDonald retires March 31 as president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
- Scotty Hancock, who recently was elected to serve as chair of the Floyd County Commission. He replaces Commissioner Rhonda Wallace.
- Bill Collins, who was elected Monday to serve as mayor of Rome. He replaces City Commission Jamie Doss.
- Elaine Abercrombie, the incoming chair of the Rome Floyd Chamber and also with Greene’s Jewelers on Broad Street.
- Sworn in at a separate ceremony was Mark White with Fairbanks, serving as chair of the Greater Rome Existing Industries Association.
- They join other at-large members Jimmy Byars of Hardy Realty and Rome businessman Doc Kibler. The at-large members are appointed by the city and county commissions.
- Byars also is chairing the development authority this year.
The development authority was created in 1962 thanks to changes in the state constitution by the Georgia General Assembly. It’s purpose: “The authority meets to assist and promote economic growth in Floyd County and considers any new economic prospect, and examines the marketing prospects and progress of the industrial sites. The authority offers industrial revenue bond financing for qualifying businesses.”
In recent weeks, the authority has been mentioned as the entity that would direct a newly appointed three-person staff to direct industrial recruitment, manage existing industry and a third position for administrative needs. It would replace the economic development functions currently directed by the chamber.
The “Big Switch” concept, quickly approved by the County Commission, originally was to report to a newly created six-person authority comprised of three appointees from the City Commission and three from the County Commission. The proposal stalled amid numerous questions from city commissioners. A revised idea, favored by the Rome Floyd Development Authority, was for that panel to direct any new recruitment efforts.
We’re awaiting the next step in that or additional proposals, especially with the new development authority members now in place.