There continues to be some remaining questions surrounding the details of Southeastern Economic Development Corp. President Carolyn Y. Smith’s firing yesterday.

It’s unclear when she actually leaves the redevelopment agency and how the severance was agreed upon. The board stated that it has invoked the 90-day clause in Smith’s contract, but not explained further. Smith’s contract states that she can be fired for any reason with 90 days’ notice and she will be paid a severance.

Her contract also states that she can be fired for cause without severance.

The Mayor’s Office said it has put in a call to SEDC Chairman Artie M. “Chip” Owen asking for the terms of her termination and how her $100,350 severance was agreed upon. My calls and e-mail into SEDC with similar questions haven’t been returned.

Also, mayoral spokesman Fred Sainz said the mayor doesn’t want the current SEDC board to choose Smith’s successor considering the agency’s recent troubles.

“It would be inappropriate for the current board to have anything to do with the appointment of a new president,” he said.

Mayor Jerry Sanders is asking for nominations from council members to fill all eight expired terms on the board. The mayor hopes to announce the new nominees in September, Sainz said.

Update: I don’t think my original post was completely clear: The mayor wants a new board to select the next SEDC president. He doesn’t plan on making the selection himself.


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