The decision by Union and Pontotoc counties to pool resources and hire one economic development director strikes us as a good one.
The Union County Development Association, the Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce and the Union and Pontotoc county boards of supervisors have decided to recruit one person to represent both counties.
The economic development job includes recruiting business and industry and working to expand current ones.
The idea to unite the two county efforts was suggested by Randy Kelley, executive director of Three Rivers Planning and Development District because both counties have no one filling the positions at the moment, according to Dave Kitchens, board president of the Union County Development Association.
“We think it is a win-win situation,” Kitchens said. “By pooling our resources we hope to get a high caliber person and keep him a little longer.”
Former association executive director, Stephen Surles, stayed only 14 months before taking a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The association recently hired Phil Nanney as its executive director.
“This will give Phil more time to concentrate on other association activities and membership development,” Kitchens said.
The development association is financed by money from the New Albany and Union County governments and dues paid by association members.
Kitchens said interviews are scheduled next week for candidates for the development job.
We think if the two counties get the right person, the move can pay off well. We also think pooling our efforts with Pontotoc County puts us on a more equal footing with Lee County and Tupelo in recruitment efforts.
That in itself is a good reason to do it.