There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the 10-month-long search for the new executive director of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council.
The search committee has reduced the list from 18 applicants to three candidates.
"By the time we went through the process, the best were the same as the last time," said Conyers Mayor Randy Mills, who is one of the members of the search subcommittee, along with County Commission Chairman Richard Oden and city Councilman Vince Evans, which narrowed down the list.
The search was readvertised in August after the Rockdale County Development Authority offered to chip in $25,000 more a year for three years, increasing the salary from $60,000 to $85,000 in the attempt to attract a wider net of applicants. Eighteen candidates applied the second time around. When the original advertisement went out, about 15 applications were received, and the list was reduced to four finalists by July.
The previous executive director, Glenn Sears, who retired at the end of 2012, had received an annual salary of about $60,000 for what was technically a part-time, 30 hour per week position.
CREDC and city and county leaders decided the position needed to be full time in order to have a new exective director to actively and agressively recruit businesses and industry. CREDC was formed in 2004 as a common economic development body for both the city and the county and receives about $60,000 from the city and $125,000 from the county.
There was also discussion of CREDC taking a more active role supervising a full time director and forming a governance committee looking at the bylaws of CREDC, which is a board of appointed volunteers. The bylaws currently only require one annual meeting of the CREDC board, although recent practice has been to meet about once a quarter.
All the members who sit on the CREDC board will interview the finalists and serve as a selection committee.
Mills said they hoped to wrap the process by the beginning of November.