A search committee is still looking for the right person to head up the Chamber of Commerce, economic development and tourism efforts in McDuffie County. But the Forward McDuffie committee should be hitting its stride soon.
The application deadline passed on March 16. According to search committee consultant Charlie Bellman, the committee received seven applications from across the southeast.
"We are reviewing the applications as they come in, of course," Mr. Bellman said. "...They are wide-ranged. Some of them are local. Some of them are in the metropolitan-Augusta area. There's two from (elsewhere in) the state of Georgia, one from Alabama and one from West Virginia."
Mr. Bellman said interviews began after all the applications were received. He has been in contact with the committee which consists of County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton, Thomson Mayor Bob Knox and Development Authority Chairman Riley Stamey.
In the meantime, the man who held the position of Forward McDuffie director for more than three years has spent the last few weeks learning his new job as Thomson City Administrator. Don Powers said the first thing he did was to meet employees and find out about the work flow at City Hall and all the other outlying city offices.
He also said he is learning the strategy involved in long-term, ongoing projects such as water, sewer and building plans. He said he is getting used to the higher degree of detail in his current position.
"As the economic development guy for the past few years, these infrastructure projects were something that I stayed on the periphery of, mainly using them in recruitment as an example of how progressive we were as a city and county about getting set up for the future," he said. "From my new chair at City Hall, these projects take on an entirely different and more detailed perspective."
As Mr. Powers continues to learn the ropes from former City Administrator Bob Flanders, he is also keeping an eye on several of his old duties until his replacement is hired.
"(It's) a lot to learn, but I've got a good teacher," he said.