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Section A: General News


FEDC picks new exec, adopts budget


FEDC picks new exec, adopts budget
Tommy Baker and his wife, Carin, listen Sept. 9 as the Floresville Economic Development Corp. board votes to hire him as the corporation’s new executive director. Baker previously held a similar position in Belton.


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Wilson County News
September 18, 2013
2,284 views
6 comments

FLORESVILLE -- On Oct. 1, the Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC) will have a new executive director at the helm. Tommy Baker, who previously held a similar post in Belton, was hired Sept. 9 by a unanimous vote of the FEDC board.

Board member Mary Helen Tieken, who chaired the corporation’s personnel committee, read a statement pertaining to the committee’s decision to recommend Baker for the post. In it, she addressed media reports related to Baker’s resignation from his former post in Belton. It was revealed that Baker resigned so that he and his wife could provide care to a terminally ill relative, and that his former employer deems him eligible for rehire.

None of Baker’s background checks have highlighted any concerns, Tieken said.

Baker’s starting annual salary will be $60,000. Following 90 days of employment, his performance will be evaluated, which Tieken said could result in Baker’s salary being increased to $65,000 per year. The FEDC also will reimburse up to $5,000 of his relocation expenses.

Belton is the county seat of Bell County, located between Killeen and Temple. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the city was home to 19,409 residents in 2012. Voters approved the creation of its economic development corporation -- which is funded under the state’s 4A sales-tax program -- in 1990, according to the corporation’s website.

Baker will replace former FEDC Executive Director Jesse Perez, who resigned in January to accept a similar position in Hondo. Since Perez’s departure, former Floresville Mayor Raymond “Ram” Ramirez has served as the corporation’s interim executive director.

Also during the meeting, the FEDC board approved the corporation’s 2014 fiscal year budget, which forecasts $695,215 in total income for the upcoming fiscal year. Expenses are anticipated to total $500,671. A copy of the budget, which is subject to final approval by the Floresville City Council, is available with this article online.

In other business, Floresville City Engineer Larry Heimer updated the board on the status of test borings of the roads within the El Rancho Grande Industrial Park on F.M. 537. Considerable work will have to be performed to improve the integrity of the base material prior to surface material being applied. Heimer said the next step is to prepare plans related to what must occur before the roads meet Wilson County standards.

Also related to El Rancho Grande, Kurt Mullen of Top Gun Communications informed the board that his company needs to increase the height of a communications tower located in the industrial park. Mullen said Perez allowed Top Gun to locate Internet antennas on the approximately 45-foot tower at no cost, in exchange for the firm paying for the materials and labor related to erecting the tower.

Mullen said he needs permission to increase the height of the tower by 30 to 40 feet -- which would require guywires -- to accommodate for the height of the new La Quinta hotel on U.S. 181. However, Ramirez said he is unsure if the FEDC has any record of the agreement with Top Gun, so Mullen is being asked to provide the relevant documentation for review by the board.

In attendance: Board members Andy Eubanks, David Strozier, Mike Herry, Mary Helen Tieken, Jason Talley, and Ray Lamberth; FEDC interim Executive Director Raymond “Ram” Ramirez, interim Floresville City Manager Reggie Winters, and Floresville City Engineer Larry Heimer.

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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
September 19, 2013 3:54pm
 
Alex, it's not race. It's a matter of getting away from the good ole boy network here in Floresville. We have to reach out to new blood.

 
City dweller  
Floresville  
September 19, 2013 3:37pm
 
having the support of city council means nothing. That is what got us Jesse Perez and his ilk. We need people with experience and knowledge rather than "friends" of the community. The good ole boy network needs ... More ›

 
Alex Lippert  
Floresville  
September 19, 2013 1:51pm
 
Tyra,you think race had something to do why Ram wasn't hired ? But going back to my question,didn't Ram have the support of the city council ?

 
William J. Gibbs Jr.  
WCN  
September 19, 2013 12:35pm
 
Alex, you might want to watch the video. In it, you will hear Mrs. Tieken say that while Mr. Ramirez expressed interest in the position, he never actually submitted a finished application.

 
Tyra  
FloTown  
September 19, 2013 12:29pm
 
I don't think this particular board wanted someone that was in house or from the area. Which is sort of a detriment to the EDC because he is NOT from here and does not know the area so someone is going to have to show him the ... More ›

 
Alex Lippert  
Floresville  
September 19, 2013 11:56am
 
Why didn't Ram get the job ? Politically,he had the support from the city council. Right ?

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