Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Booster Group Will Work for the Good of Clay County

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Booster Group Will Work for the Good of Clay County

Article excerpt

Clay County has a new booster organization to help spark economic growth and development and increase job opportunities countywide.

Actually, it's an old group dressed up in a new suit, with a new name and an expanded mission.

The Committee of 100, an arm of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce for years, has been renamed the Clay County Economic Development Council Inc.

As part of the change, which was effective Jan. 19, the existing board of directors will continue to serve in the same capacity for the new non-profit corporation.

In addition, three new directorships have been created on the board for representatives from the public sector, including a permanent seat for the chairman of the County Commission or his designee.

The other two will be elected by the board, said Orien Pass, who will continue to wear two hats as executive director of both the Clay County Development Authority and the new Economic Development Council.

"They could be from one of the municipalities, the School Board, the [St. Johns River] Community College, the Keystone Heights Air Park, the Clay County Utility Authority, or any other public authority," Pass said.

The three public sector directors will have full voting rights along with the other 15 board members. All other public agencies, Pass said, will be represented on the board in an ex-officio, non-voting, capacity.

Danita Andrews, administrative assistant, said another change was the addition of three new committees: business recruitment, incentives, and business retention and expansion.

The same committees that jointly served the Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 100, Andrews said, will continue under the new arrangement. Those panels address issues of education and government affairs, transportation, infrastructure development, membership, and marketing and public relations.

The name change and reorganization stems from a recommendation in a study that was completed last year by the Clay County Economic Development Committee and consultants with Florida Planning Group Inc.

The study concluded that a coordinated, countywide effort was needed by public and private sectors to promote Clay County as a healthy economic environment for new businesses and expansion of existing ones. …

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