Clem to commisson: EDC moving forward

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission President Ted Clem told county commissioners Monday that despite a deep recession, there is potential for growth with local industry.

In his report to the commission, which partly funds the EDC with $250,000 each year, Clem reviewed his agency's goals for the year and fielded questions from the group.

According the Clem, the agency is weathering the financial storm. The group has developed a strategic plan that focuses on four areas believed to be areas primed for growth in the area -- health care, defense and logistics, advanced food production, and back office jobs -- and has strengthened statewide alliances with larger economic cultivators.

"Again, these are state economic developers and the idea is simply that, how can they sell Albany to their contacts if they don't know us?" Clem said. "So we've worked hard to grow that relationship."

During his presentation, Clem pointed to a variety of topics including area success stories -- like the renewal of a 20-year agreement with MillerCoors and Procter & Gamble -- and developments in technology that will hold the EDC accountable by measuring its successes and failures.

Following his presentation, commissioners questioned Clem on several topics, including his ideas on the next 1 percent sales tax referendum and the EDC's efforts to promote small business development.

Following Clem, Bishop Frederick Williams of Gethsemane Worship Center asked the commission for its support of a "Stop the Violence" initiative.

Williams, whose sister was killed Dec. 8, said that the movement was growing and now included input from community leaders, law enforcement professionals and church leaders.

The organization is planning a summit and a basketball tournament with what organizers hope will be 50 teams participating. Williams said 30 had already formed up and agreed to participate.

In other business, the commission was introduced to Walter Bullock, who has recently been named the 2009 Solid Waste Employee of the Year. Landfill Operations Manager Jackie Wingfield described Bullock as dedicated, loyal and an asset to the county.

The county reviewed a resolution that would declare certain vehicles and equipment surplus and authorizing the sale of those vehicles on govdeals.com.

And the county listened to a presentation regarding the results of the Landfill Financial Analysis done by R.W. Beck company.