Toledo begins effort to fill Economic Development Director position

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TOLEDO - (WTVG) - Economic development is important to any city but Toledo has several projects that may soon move forward.

But with the resignation of the mayor's economic development director, the city is scrambling to stay on track.

Bill Burkett was connected. His department was busy and Toledo had some deals on the front burner.

The mayor has both temporary and permanent options when it comes to filling this important position.

Toledo's development has been remarkable over the last 15 years.

Former economic development director Bill Burkett would often says he was fielding calls from developers interested in talking with the city and that momentum may not suffer despite Burkett's resignation.

Toledo's mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz says, he doesn't think the "economic health and well-being of Toledo is adversely affected."

Local economic development groups, which team with Toledo in creating business and employment opportunities, are willing to step in.

Kapszukiewicz says, "The Regional Growth Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce, the Port Authority, they've all reached out offering resources and maybe even staff on loan."

And that help could keep negotiations going for the property at Southwyck-- which the mayor says is getting serious-- and the property the city owns across from the Jeep plant.

But staff on loan is temporary.

The more permanent solution is hiring an economic development director who knows the menu of incentives to attract development.

The mayor says he also wants "someone who has relationships and who understand the DNA of the community and frankly knows all the right people (in Toledo)."

It seems obvious the mayor wants to hire a local person to step into the economic development role for the city.

But that's the permanent solution and it may take a couple months.

The temporary solution may come Wednesday when the mayor meets with the RGP about sharing resources until a new person comes on board.

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