Councilman Tony Young just sent Mayor Jerry Sanders a memo asking him to loan the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. an “executive experienced in redevelopment practices and procedures” to run the agency until a replacement can be found for Carolyn Y. Smith, who left the agency last night under pressure from the new SEDC board.
Young’s memo reads:
This person’s principal role would be to manage the day to day operations of SEDC and ensure that various critical projects move forward so that the communities of District 4 and 8 do not experience unnecessary delays in getting redevelopment projects that will improve the economic development of the area.
SEDC board Chairman Cruz Gonzalez yesterday called on board members and members of the City Council to send him suggestions for qualified individuals who can run the agency while an executive search firm is hired and searches for a replacement to Smith.
It’s unclear whether the mayor could, legally, appoint an interim director at SEDC because of the confusing nature of the agency’s relationship with the city.
SEDC is a nonprofit corporation that essentially works for the city as an independent agency. While the City Council must sign off on SEDC’s development projects and its budget, day-to-day activities at the agency are run by staff and overseen by SEDC’s board.