City hires interim EDC director Mark Marquez

Cove Leader-Press 

Mark Marquez was introduced to the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation board of directors as the interim executive director for the EDC at the EDC’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday. 
Marquez, acquired with the assistance of the firm Texas First Group, is a retired military officer with 18 years of experience in local government, having served in interim roles for a number of positions such as city management, human resources, and economic development for cities like College Station, Clute, Schertz, and the Village of Wimberley.
Marquez will remain at the helm of the EDC until the city completes the hiring process for a permanent director.
The subject of staffing for the EDC was also on the agenda for discussion during the operations update, with the staffing discussion held at the request of board chair Adam Martin.
Presently, there are 2.5 employees for the Economic Development Department, said Diane Drussell, the EDC’s director of business retention. The part-time position is filled by a staff member who handles the accounting for the EDC, with Drussell and the vacant executive director positions being the two full-time positions. City manager Andrea Gardner elaborated more on the part-time position.
“There’s been a slight change in that position. That position is now in the finance department, and (the EDC) is billed for the time that positions spends dedicated to economic development. That is a great savings to the corporation,” Gardner said. 
“My recommendation to the board is that the board place this on the planning session, because I don’t think the board would want to dictate to the director what their staff is going to look like without any input from them.”  
The board agreed to further discuss the staffing needs for the department at its upcoming planning retreat, tentatively set for Saturday, January 13. 
“As you probably know, the prior director had a set of needs that the future director may not have. They may have a different skillset and may not need some of that administrative clerical assistance that the prior director did,” Gardner told the board.
The board held discussions with Drussell regarding the cleanup work at the Narrows Business and Technology Park clean-up.  She said the department has had discussion with Parks & Recreation director Joe Brown about the possibility of that department handling the cleanup work.
“It would be cheaper if Parks & Rec were to do that, but they need a plan, so that’s something for you all to think about, to do in phases,” Drussell said. “It could be starting with something as simple as no dumping signs at the entrances, because there is quite a bit of illegal dumping going on. Mr. Brown and I spoke about putting that and citing the ordinance for that so that’s something you could bring to the planning session.”
She said in the discussions with Brown, the winter months are slower for that department where grounds keeping is concerned. 
“I don’t think anybody’s vision is to wipe everything out. I think it’s more to thin out some of the brush and clean out some of the garbage and the trees.”
Board chair Adam Martin agreed the discussion could be included in the retreat agenda. Even if the EDC board decided to put the project out for bidding, it would still need to create a specific plan for what should be done on the property, added city manager Andrea Gardner.  
The board also voted to authorize National United Bank to serve as the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation’s bank depository, and it also authorized the release of funds to the City of Copperas Cove for accounts payable on behalf of the Economic Development Corporation. 
The board also voted to authorize the City Secretary and the CCEDC board chairman to complete Form 401 (Statement of Change of Registered Agent/Office) and Form 401-A (Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent), designating Adam Martin, to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office for processing.  
The board will hold its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 20. 

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