Montgomery County

Amsterdam seeks economic development director

Plans to hire a community and economic development director mark a first step toward giving the city

Plans to hire a community and economic development director mark a first step toward giving the city of Amsterdam a chance at growth, Mayor Ann Thane said last week.

A $45,000 salary for the position, unfilled for years, is included in the city’s $27.5 million budget approved last week for the 2012-13 fiscal year that starts July 1.

Thane said she expects to be broadcasting requests for resumes of candidates interested in the position for which plenty of work is available.

“I don’t have anyone in mind,” said Thane, who said she hopes to “spread a wide enough net” by posting the position on LinkedIn and other networking sites.

The position, as the title implies, is not just related to facilitating economic and business development. It also entails working with community groups, neighborhood associations and engaging in planning activities.

“We have a real void when it comes to revisiting the comprehensive plan or the local waterfront revitalization plan. I need somebody competent to really assist in these matters,” Thane said.

Whether a $45,000 salary will draw the most experienced candidate is unclear, but Thane said the job’s success, based on results, could lead to boosting the pay.

“I think the person is going to have a year to prove themselves. If this turns out to be a very good thing, who knows what the next budget would bring,” Thane said.

“Hopefully we can begin to strengthen the department not only in compensating the position properly but also staffing a department.

The city’s Community and Economic Development department is currently unstaffed.

“We are in competition with other communities that have entire departments directed towards growth,” Thane said.

The ability to write and communicate are critical for the candidate, and some of the job’s tasks Thane envisions include sending out emails, keeping the city’s website current and helping to communicate with taxpayers so they understand where their tax money goes.

Thane said she’s expecting to get a job description complete by this week and it’s possible she’ll be interviewing candidates as early as next month.

The Common Council approved the $27,505,715 budget for 2012-13 on Tuesday.

The spending plan calls for collecting $5,014,376 in taxes and comes with a tax rate increase of 1.96 percent.

Taxes will rise a total of 29 cents per $1,000 of a property’s value, bringing the tax rate up to $15.14 per $1,000.

Categories: Business

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