September 28, 2012

LEDF board approves new structure

From Staff Reports

LOGANSPORT — The Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation has a new structure for its board of directors.

LEDF chair Patricia Hammons announced this morning that after several weeks of work, the organization's new structure and by-laws were approved by unanimous vote of the LEDF board of directors. The board also approved a new board and slate of officers effective immediately.

The new board of directors will be made up of nine voting and up to two non-voting members.

“The new structure allows the board to be more responsive to the changing economic times while the new committee structure allows more work to be done where necessary," Hammons said. "The new arrangement also protects the independent character of the foundation, keeping it non-political in its nature, and protects the integrity of the three-legged partnering stool of the private sector with county- and city-elected officials."

Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin praised the action.

"We are excited about the new make- up of the board and are anxious to get back on track and focused on the work that needs to be done,” he said.

The term of officers continues to be one year, but terms for board members have been reduced from four years to three. The bylaws also provide that board members can now serve two consecutive terms before waiting a two-year period to rejoin the board.

Private sector members of the board will include chairman Jim Hayden (Cass Co. Ford), vice chair Jim Schrader (Logansport Memorial Hospital), secretary-treasurer Bill Cuppy (Security Federal Bank) and at-large members Paul Hartman (Logansport Municipal Utilities) and Todd Miller (Myers Spring). Additionally, the board will include four elected officials, with Franklin being joined by City Councilman Bob Bishop, Cass County Commissioner Dave Arnold and Cass County Councilman George Stebbins.

The non-voting members will be outgoing chair Hammons and the president of the foundation.

The by-laws also outline the need for standing and ad-hoc committees. The standing committees include membership, marketing and education/workforce. The ad-hoc committees, as proposed at today’s meeting, include utilities and agri-business.

The board members who will no longer be serving as voting members of the board will be asked to serve on committees. While board members will chair committees, the committee members will be doing the work necessary to make a difference in their areas of focus. Once the new LEDF president is in place, strategic planning and priorities within the county and city will guide the direction of committees.

“This is a step toward the future and will help as we push ahead with economic development in Cass County," Arnold said. "This will streamline the process and is a plus for the county, city and business sector.”

Initially, LEDF officers were concerned that the foundation would become a political office and create the risk of changing direction with the change of elected officials.

"With the new structure, we are insulated from that but still give elected officials a louder voice in the direction of the foundation," Hammons said. "They need to have a greater voice and more concrete ownership of the foundation and where their priorities and efforts are headed."

The news release also noted that LEDF hoped to have an announcement regarding a new president within the next 10 days.