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Georgia Power says Rockdale is business-friendly
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Conyers and Rockdale government shows the business-friendly quick response time that is key to bringing good jobs here, a Georgia Power official told the Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council board on June 4.

Lauren Lambiase, a regional community development manager for Georgia Power, gave CREDC a presentation on the utility's economic development program. She explained that Georgia Power has provided communities with such assistance since the 1920s-before the state had its own economic development agency-because ultimately expansion is good business.

"What's good for companies and communities is good for us," she said.

Lambiase is familiar with Rockdale. Until recently, she worked in economic development at the state and was involved in the recent Acuity Brands expansion here. She said the main attributes of a community good at attracting and retaining business is a "can-do attitude," "creative and flexible incentives," and especially "responsiveness."

"I don't see that as a problem here," Liambiase said, describing local government as moving quickly on business proposals.

CREDC Executive Director Marty Jones agreed, saying his organization and local government are "reacting at the speed of business."

Lambiase also provide a thumbnail sketch of Rockdale's current employment stats. The median salary here is $52,000, above metro ATL average. There are about 32,000 local jobs.

The top five employment sectors are: public schools; full-service restaurants; HV/AC and refrigeration; limited-service restaurants; and local government. The top five occupation categories are: retail sales; food prep; cashiers; customer service reps; and team assemblers.

CREDC often works with Georgia Power on development proposals, and the utility serves as one of the agencies that can help direct corporations to town.

In other CREDC business, new board member Richard Oden, the chairman and CEO of the county commission, pushed for more "documentation, transparency and accountability" from CREDC. Oden has expressed similar concerns about CREDC, and occasional clashed with Jones and other officials about it, for over a year.

Oden said he particularly wants more detailed staff job descriptions and a more active and director board role in setting CREDC's goals and strategy. Those topics will be discussed in-depth at the board's July meeting. Meanwhile, an executive committee of the board will discuss the strategy element in private at Oden's request. Oden also asked about the possibility of allowing board members to appoint proxies to vote in their absence, and got a negative reaction.