TILLAMOOK - The Tillamook County Economic Development Council and the Small Business Development Center are looking for a new executive director following a decision by the board of directors not to retain Marshall Doak.

Doak's contract expires at the end of June. Until then, he will work from home, he said, wrapping up a handful of ongoing projects.

Tillamook Bay Community College President Jon Carnahan and Jeff Sherman, director of the Open Campus program at TBCC, will serve as interim directors of the development agency.

Doak was hired about three years ago, at the same time the boards of the county's Economic Development Council and TBCC's Small Business Development Center decided to combine efforts with a single director and a single office, now located at the college.

During a March 15 meeting, members of both the EDC board and the Small Business Advisory Council discussed how to more clearly define the next director's goals and projects.

Carnahan, who oversees the Small Business Advisory Council, said board members needed to be "more purposeful on the direction of the next executive director...We left some things to happen and they just didn't happen the way that they should have."

Mark Labhart, a Tillamook County commissioner and EDC board member, said the board had failed to focus on whether its strategic goals were being accomplished.

"As a result of that, in my opinion, we just let things flow," Labhart said.

"We didn't focus on that (strategic plan) as much as we should have."

"I get the feeling we haven't been very effective as a board," said member Dale Stockton of Nehalem. "We're looking down the barrel and all we see is the gun.

"I've been on this board since forever...and I can't recall one business we've recruited into Tillamook County."

Sally Tuttle, the group's small-business counselor, said the center hasn't had the funds to focus on business recruitment, although it has worked with business clients to help retain local jobs.

Labhart said that several people, including Doak, had been involved in ongoing talks to bring "significant"

businesses into the community. "It just hasn't come to fruition yet," he said.

Following the board's March 15 meeting, Tuttle said, "We know what our goals are; I know what my goals are...I think what had been missing is that we didn't have an annual work plan. We didn't have short-term goals yet."

The board is considering a $48,000-$60,000 salary range for its new director, not including benefits.

Plans are to advertise the job by April 20, close the job listing May 20 and select a new director by mid-June.

Surveys soon will go out to the EDC's members and partners asking their opinions on goals for the organization, strengths they would like to see in a new director, and one tangible success they would like to see the group accomplish in the next 18 months.

Doak, who was not at the March 15 meeting, said he hoped the center would continue to be a "voice for growth" in Tillamook County.

"Tillamook County absolutely needs to grow to help itself through some of the infrastructure financial issues,"

said Doak. "... Everybody should be working together to get the county to grow.

"No matter how hard everybody pulls in the same direction, it's still going to be tough."

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