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Tyler Appointed Interim Director For Economic Development

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE – The  Yalobusha Economic Development District (YEDD) has a new point man following the selection of Bob Tyler as interim director during a morning meeting Tuesday at the Coffeeville Courthouse.
    Tyler has been serving as Water Valley’s appointment on the nine-person YEDD board since the board became operational two months ago with five appointments from the county  – one from each supervisor – and three municipal appointments – one from Coffeeville, Oakland and Water Valley. An at-large appointment was also made by supervisors, rounding out the nine seats.
    A day earlier, at the “first Monday” supervisor meeting in Water Valley, Ray and Tyler and several other YEDD trustees met with supervisors to identify the mission and goals for the YEDD including the entity’s funding and finding the right person for the director position.
    Questions posed by YEDD board members in the supervisor meeting ranged from the hiring process of the director to the funding of the organization.    

Hiring Questions
    The potential hiring date surfaced after Beat Three Supervisor M.H. Butch Surrette questioned the possibility of having the director in place before the 2008 legislative session
    “Do you think you will be able to move before legislative session?” Surrette asked YEDD trustees.  Mississippi legislators will gavel in on January 8 at noon.
    “Is this considered full-time job?” Jane Dean Wortham asked as both supervisors and YEDD trustees worked through preliminary planning for the economic development entity.
    “Not necessarily,” Surrette answered, but that will be left up to the board, reiterating that the economic development board would be similar to the hospital board which operates the Yalobusha General Hospital without direct involvement of county supervisors.
    Board Attorney John Crow also informed the EDD members at the meeting that they would not have to advertise for the hiring, following another question raised by Wortham.
The Money
Supervisors appropriated $60,000 to fund the economic district in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. The money will be used  to pay the salary of the economic director and operating expenses of the entity. The money will be transferred from the county to the EDD following the bonding process of the EDD officers.
    Supervisors agreed that the salary of the  director will be set by the EDD board.
    “As quick as you can get that director, it will probably help y’all,” Tillman said.

Looking Ahead
    “We thought we were absolutely blessed that we have a guy that has been through the trials and tribulations of state government for 14 years,” Ray said about naming Tyler interim director.
    Tyler’s recent work history includes working with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks as Public Affairs Director.
    Ray also stressed that YEDD would strive to serve as a full-fledged economic development entity. He outlined job retention, creating new jobs, raising the education level in the county and subdivision development as four preliminary targets for the YEDD.

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