By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
As the Clinton Regional Development Corp. continues to work toward choosing its next CEO, current CRDC Chairman Rich Phelan spoke to the Camanche City Council on Tuesday about the future of the CRDC.
“I’m glad this came up because we’ve been overdue to getting down here and speaking to you folks,” Phelan said.
Since the resignation of former CEO Steve Ames late last year, the CRDC has attempted to replace Ames to no avail; but ,according to Phelan, they have received a verbal agreement from a man they feel is a very strong candidate.
“You had probably heard that we had made an offer to someone last month, who also accepted, (but) after meeting with him he changed his mind, so we’re a little bit gun shy right now,” Phelan said. “But I really believe this is going to happen.”
Phelan said he will meet with the candidate, who has ample experience in the economic development field, on Wednesday and hopes to have an official announcement this week.
Council members received the presentation positively, but explained to Phelan why they felt reserved and that they needed some reassurance from the CRDC. The council at a recent meeting discussed the possibility of holding off on designating money to the CRDC, with some council members citing lack of both communication and a CRDC president/CEO as reasons behind that proposal.
Councilman Paul Varner questioned Phelan and the CRDC asking how it is going to benefit Camanche in the future.
“What is the CRDC going to do for my community?” Varner asked. “Those are my constituents; that’s who I have to answer to.”
Varner’s concerns were not the only ones brought up at the City Council meeting.
“The reason that this topic had come up is based on the CRDC’s communication with the city of Camanche. There was a long time that we didn’t hear anything so there was just some skepticism as far as the future,” Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck said.
Phelan agreed with Fahlbeck, saying that the CRDC takes full responsibility for that lack of communication, and once this new administration is put into place, he feels the CRDC will be stronger than ever.
“We’re going to work hard to show that we’re pulling for all of us,” Phelan said. “We look forward to you’re continued support; we are going to earn it.”