Strathmore Town Council asked staff to look into adding $120,000 into the 2019-20 budget years for a 2-year economic development contract. They have asked staff to start searching for an Economic Development Officer (EDO) for the 2-year contract with an option to extend for another two years, based on established performance measurements and quarterly reviews to start in 2019.
Town Councillor Tari Cockx said, "My understanding just from my own little bit of research two years is kind of short, Economic Development Officers have a really hard time producing results in two years."
The administration does agree that two years is a short term but also wanted to give the council the option to see this role in action over that period, and at that time could choose to extend the contract. The issue administration sees with only a two year contract is it may be difficult to attract the best possible candidate. However, they do want to get moving on this matter as there is a need. Results of the citizen survey listed this as a third place item of concern. There is a desire within the town to see Strathmore grow and prosper.
A full-time EDO would be able to coordinate with the Chamber of Commerce, the town's tourism and Downtowm Design Review Committee as well as other town partners.
As the town has operated for many years without an EDO, this role has been completed by a number of people, the Chief Administrative Office and many other senior members of staff have stepped in to help. Due to the lack of time those members of staff have, they have not been able to devote the needed care and time to economic development and have not seen the highest possible success rate. It has been noted over the last few years that there is a great need for this position to be created and filled in order to work towards the longevity of the town.