At this evening’s meeting, the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. board will consider adding new provisions to its consultant contracts that will require consultants to disclose their economic ties to SEDC before speaking at public meetings.
Last year, I wrote this article examining the role of two consultants at SEDC, Angela Harris and Herman Collins.
I pointed out in the story that Harris had a penchant for showing up at SEDC meetings and speaking in support of Carolyn Y. Smith, the agency’s former president, who was ousted last summer in the midst of a scandal over secret bonuses that were paid to staff. Harris did not disclose at the meetings that she was on SEDC’s payroll.
The new rules will require consultants like Harris to publicly state their financial ties to the agency before speaking at any public meetings, not just meetings of SEDC’s board.