(L to R)Don Boggus, Tim Chason, Sonny Proctor, Becky Denney, Kirk Raffield, Brandon Douglas
by Sonny Proctor, M.D. and Becky Denney
On Tuesday, September 3, the Economic Development Director Hiring Committee, recently formed by joint resolution of the Pickens County Board of Commissioners and the Jasper City Council, met to review information collected and organized by The Chason Group of Georgia, the consultant chosen to lead the strategic planning process and the job search of a new Economic Development Director for Pickens County. Using information from the S.W.O.T. analysis done by the Chamber of Commerce Collaborative Planning Committee, as well as information gathered by Chason economic development specialist Mark Lytle from over twenty key stakeholder interviews held in the community, information was presented about structure, location and governance of this newly organized executive position. A “S.W.O.T.” analysis collects and organizes information and data around strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and is the foundation of the collaborative strategic planning process. Tim Chason presented recommendations for the group around title, job description, structure and governance of this executive position. Using this information, there will soon be a posting for this important role in our community. Collaborative Planning is an economic development strategy recognized by organizations like the Department of Community Affairs and others as a form of planning to help municipalities and counties come together for the better good. There may be even more exciting news concerning collaboration in the very near future. The committee, co-chaired by Commissioner Becky Denney and Jasper City Councilman Sonny Proctor, hopes to have a hire with a strategic and implementation plan in place in the next few months. Other members of the committee include Don Boggus, the Chairman of the Pickens County Development Authority, Todd Payne, the President/C.E.O. of Amicalola EMC, City Councilman Kirk Raffield, and Jasper City Manager Brandon Douglas.