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Development panel includes all applicants

Staff writer

Everyone who applied to be part of a countywide economic development committee will be asked to join the discussion in the near future.

Marion County commissioners, after tabling formation of a long-discussed economic development committee last week in the hope that additional people would apply, reversed their stance this week in the hope of getting things moving. They voted unanimously to contact the applicants and set a date for an initial meeting.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he wants to find someone to get the committee going in the right direction.

“You’ve read the applications,” commissioner Dan Holub said. “They’re all over the place.”

County clerk Tina Spencer reminded commissioners they had originally expected to select seven candidates for the committee.

Dallke stood by his position of a week ago that he didn’t want to eliminate any of the applicants.

“We’re sitting on a keg of dynamite smoking a cigarette, that’s what we’re doing,” Holub said. “Why don’t we start out with the 14 and let them start meeting with a designated leadership role?”

Holub suggested talking to Chris Hernandez, of Marion, to see if he would be the initial leader and let the committee choose a leader themselves.

Holub said he wants to sit in on committee meetings, but not as a committee member.

Dallke said he wants the committee to be forward-looking, not backward-looking.

“I am not going to let it become a bashing contest,” Holub said.

Applicants include Esley Schmidt, Walton; Jane Pigorsch, Lincolnville; Todd Heitschmidt, Marion; Rod Koons, Hillsboro; Tammy Ensey, Marion; Jim Hefley, Hillsboro; Russell Groves, Hillsboro; John Wheeler, Marion; Stan Thiessen, Hillsboro; Roger Holter, Marion; Jared Jost, Hillsboro; Gene Winkler, Marion; and Craig Dodd, Hillsboro.

Last modified June 2, 2016

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