Industrial Development Board treasurer Mark Brown informed members of the county’s Economic and Agricultural Development Committee the IDB has renegotiated former director Jeff McCormick’s contract so he will be employed as a subcontractor performing his same duties while receiving the same pay he received as IDB director.
McCormick had been IDB director since February 2006.
McCormick tendered his resignation in October and his last day on the job was set for Dec. 31. His resignation was in part due to bad relations between him and some members of the Warren County Commission.
Earlier this year, some members of the County Commission threatened to reduce IDB funding if McCormick was not fired. McCormick was considered competent at his job by most officials, but has a personality that was often described as abrasive.
Brown said the IDB is actively recruiting a new director, however, the board has only received six responses to its ads. “We only received six responses and less than half could we even consider marginally qualified for the position. Only one has some experience in the field,” said Brown.
Commissioner Ron Lee said, “The reason you are not getting applications is the fault of the county court. I wouldn’t want to move my family in here if someone was holding the purse strings every six months.”
The IDB held an open application process when McCormick was hired and received 28 applications, including one from Maine. McCormick came from Fayetteville, Tenn.
Brown said both the IDB and McCormick have a 30-day clause excusing them from the contract if the IDB finds a replacement, or if McCormick finds employment elsewhere.
“We have a couple of prospects for Spec Building 3 and they want him to stay if they decide to purchase Spec Building 3,” said Brown. “Since these companies insist on confidentiality, bringing more people in the mix is simply not allowed.”