The Southeastern Economic Development Corp. has suspended its search for a replacement to its former president who was fired last summer.
The nonprofit redevelopment agency, which launched the search last year to replace its former executive, Carolyn Y. Smith, will suspend the effort for a month. The agency had been under pressure from Mayor Jerry Sanders to hold off on hiring while the City Council considers his proposal to increase oversight at SEDC.
Sanders’ proposal would give him the power to choose the top executives at SEDC and the Centre City Development Corp., the city’s downtown redevelopment agency. City Council confirmation would be required. That power currently resides with each agency’s appointed board, but the mayor has sought additional control over the agencies since they were hit by scandal last year.
Sanders reiterated his call for SEDC to halt its hiring in a letter last week. CCDC halted its search last year.
Brian Trotier, SEDC’s interim chief, said the hiring effort was suspended days before the agency received the mayor’s letter.
The agency, which has a $36,000 contract with Beverly Hills-based Roberts Consulting Group, has spent $12,000 to date on the search, Trotier said. (Payments are also due when applications are submitted to the agency and when the search is completed.)
No interviews have been done, but the search firm has closed the application process, Trotier said.