EDD director plans fall through

Is third time a charm?

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2000

The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District is back to square one in its search for a permanent director.

In January, the board announced the hiring of Randy Jorgenson from Slayton, Minn., to head the EDD. But on Feb. 8, Jorgenson sent an e-mail message backing out of the arrangement.

"He was to have started work today," Tom Boedeker, president of the EDD board of directors and Soldotna's city manager, said Monday.

The EDD is a public private nonprofit group, originated by the Kenai Peninsula Borough in 1988, to promote economic development and encourage peninsula businesses. It has an office on the north edge of Kenai, including spaces for fledgling businesses.

Jorgenson told Boedeker he was unable to move to Alaska because of a family conflict.

"He said it was a final decision," Boedeker said.

The EDD board will meet March 1 to plan its next move. The search for a director will resume, but how the board will conduct that search has yet to be decided, he said.

"I have not got a plan how we will do this," Boedeker said.

Jim Elson, former president of the board, has been serving as the interim director and will continue in that capacity.

The EDD has had difficulties finding a new head since Tess Whalen resigned the post in May. The board of directors searched for a director last year but rejected all the candidates and reopened the search in November. The new search will be its third.

Boedeker said he and the board were frustrated with the selection process. The selection committee had been impressed by Jorgenson's credentials and eager for him to arrive.

"We were all excited," Boedeker said.



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