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What’s the real story behind the change in business recruiting?

December 16, 2018

DEAR EDITOR

With last month’s announcement of Chamber President Al Hodge’s retirement there quickly emerged a joint task force proposing a change in the current method of business recruiting. After many praises for Al Hodge’s 20 years as president of the chamber and leader of business recruiting, all of a sudden a new plan was proposed that would strip the chamber of this function. At first the story was that Al Hodge is irreplaceable, and we would be unable to find someone who could both head the chamber and do business recruiting. In reality, we all know, as good as Al is in both roles, no one is irreplaceable.

Then an opposite story came out that the chamber couldn’t adequately handle both the role of business recruiting and existing business development, therefore a new model is required. It’s surprising that this idea was never expressed to the citizens of Rome and Floyd County until Al Hodge’s retirement was announced. If it was a good idea years ago, why didn’t we make the change years ago?

Where did the idea of a change in the method of business recruiting come from? The city commissioners have been asking a lot of questions about the organization of the recruiting model, the financing and to whom this new entity will report. Based on these questions it seems unlikely that the city commissioners initially promoted the idea. I must conclude that the Floyd County Board of Commissioners first advanced the idea in an effort to gain more control over business recruiting. My questions are therefore:

1. Whose idea was it to change the method of business recruiting? If it’s such a good idea, then own it.

2. What are the details of the new model? We know there will be an additional employee added to head business recruiting, but little else has been made public. All we are told is that the city and county commissioners will work out the details later.

3. Where are we getting the funding for the new model?

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