Jay Goldstone, the city’s chief operating officer, just sent this memo to Southeastern Economic Development Corp. board Chairman Artie M. “Chip” Owen stating that actions scheduled for an SEDC committee meeting tomorrow are inappropriate because four of the board members are due to be replaced Sept. 2.

At tomorrow’s noon meeting, the agency’s Personnel and Budget Committee is scheduled to discuss the approval of an executive search firm to conduct a search for a new president of SEDC, according to the agenda for the meeting.

The agency’s current president, Carolyn Y. Smith, was fired by the board last month after it was revealed that she supervised more than $1 million in unapproved bonuses and extra compensation for her staff in the last five years.

Goldstone’s memo reads:

As you know, the Mayor recently nominated several candidates for appointment to the SEDC Board. Pending consideration of these nominations by the Redevelopment Agency Board on September 2, 2008, the retention of an Executive Recruiting firm or retention of an interim General Manager are not appropriate actions for the current SEDC Board to take.

The memo also states that the new, incoming board of directors should have an opportunity to review a performance audit of SEDC currently being completed by a consulting company before “making personnel decisions with long term implications.”

Mayor Jerry Sanders’ spokesman, Darren Pudgil, said the Mayor’s Office is also currently looking at a slew of actions SEDC’s board is scheduled to consider at the agency’s regular board meeting on Wednesday. The mayor wants to assess whether those actions are appropriate given the outgoing status of four of the board members.

“We worked on tomorrow’s meeting first,” Pudgil said. “We’re still looking at Wednesday’s meeting.”


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