Proposed membership changes to the York County Economic Development Board should result in a more engaged, business-oriented board, say the county’s economic developer and York County Council members.
The council, at the urging of economic developer David Swenson and the economic development board, is considering new membership criteria that would result in nine of the 17 board members representing business interests.
“We want people who do more than show up, get a free lunch and go home,” said councilman Michael Johnson.
“We are diving deeper into connection with our industries and the new economies,” Swenson said.
Changes were discussed Thursday by council members Johnson, Bruce Henderson, Chad Williams and Robert Winkler during a subcommittee meeting in Rock Hill. A draft ordinance should go to the full council soon and it would take at least three months to approve it.
If the council approves the changes the chambers of commerce from York, Clover, Fort Mill, Lake Wylie and Tega Cay would lose their seats on the board.
Winkler and Swenson said they have met with representatives who support the change. The York, Clover, Lake Wylie and Tega Cay chambers’ seats would be represented through the Western York County Economic Development Alliance. The Fort Mill chamber would be represented by its larger organization, the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Winthrop University, York Technical College and the Catawba Indian Nation would retain their seats.
York County Growth Partners, the private group that raises funds and assists the economic development board, would retain its three seats. Those seats are held by the York County Natural Gas Authority, York Electric Cooperative and Duke Power representatives.
The nine, at-large members would represent a variety of businesses.
Four would come from small, medium and large manufacturers and industries targeted for recruitment. Two would be from “major service” operations which could be businesses with corporate headquarters, back-office operations or call centers. One would represent warehouse and distribution centers, one from real estate and one from the financial sector.