Chaffee Authority sets job description for next executive director

by Tina Alvey Dale ( 424 views 

The Fort Smith Redevelopment Authority has a description ready for their new executive director, but the hiring process is not ready to begin.

The FCRA personnel committee met Friday (March 8) to approve a job description for both the executive director and interim executive director positions. The agenda also called discussion of advertising strategies and a timeline. The five-person committee approved the job descriptions.

The FCRA Board decided in a special meeting Feb. 28 for the personnel committee to meet March 5 in order to draft a job description and advertisement for an interim executive director to serve until such a time the board can hire a full-time executive director.

The board voted to give the committee the authority to publish the description and ads after they meet without the need to go before the full board for approval. The board agreed FCRA needed an interim director to take over as soon as possible to be the face of the authority and get things back on track.

The board announced Feb. 26 that Ivy Owen would no longer serve as executive director of the authority. The board voted in an executive session Feb. 21 that Owen was no longer able to fulfill his responsibilities due to health issues and because of that he would no longer be employed by FCRA.

Owen had not been in the FCRA office since Nov. 21, though he was still officially the executive director until Feb. 21 and did receive pay until that time, although he did not receive full pay, said Janet Gabrey, director of finance and temporary office manager.

The executive director position is “a professional economic development position consisting of planning, business and industry recruitment and retention, redevelopment, expansion and/or relocation,” the job description states. The position will involve “considerable public contact” to collect and distribute information on FCRA, Chaffee Crossing, its history and plans for its future. The director also will be responsible for economic development activities, growing and developing relationships with city and government figures as well as potential clients.

The director will be “responsible for managing a maturing entity and ensuring a strong financial plan to support capital improvement projects and operations.”

Because of the nature and history of the FCRA and Chaffee Crossing, the executive director would be responsible for preserving historic landmarks among other duties such as implementing projects that support commercial, residential and industrial development, business retention and development of infrastructure. The executive director also will “provide assistance to prospective businesses and industries to obtain information on incentives to attract and develop growth” the job description states.

The committee agreed that applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with five years’ experience in economic development, public administration or related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be accepted. The interim executive director, though he will be required to perform the same duties, will have be given more leniency in application requirements, the committee agreed.

The position is salaried and comes with 401k and insurance after a waiting period. The committee will meet again soon to finalize details on advertising and an application deadline. A positing of the position will be on the FCRA website within a few weeks, they said.