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Mission comes into focus
Authoritys bylaws last amended in 1982
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County Development Authority is reviewing its bylaws, last amended in 1982, to better reflect the panel’s focus.

“We are moving in a different direction,” said authority member Pam Sessions.

All nine authority members can submit ideas or additions to the current bylaws, which must undergo legal review.

The process, she said, is “just to see if there is anything we would need to modify more to enable us to do what we plan.”

What the authority plans to do is adopt the Focus on Forsyth strategic recruitment and retention plan, which Brian Dill of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce reviewed Wednesday.

Dill, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, said the plan is geared toward recruiting international businesses, specifically from Europe.

It will serve as a strategy for marketing Forsyth as a business destination.

The $60,000 Focus on Forsyth plan, funded by the county commission, is in its 10th draft.

The authority could vote on the final draft next month.

Authority members noted a few areas that need more explanation. Specifically, they want know how the funds should be monitored and how the program will be measured, as well defining its goals.

They also pointed out a need for an annual update and review.  

Forsyth Commissioners Jim Boff, Jim Harrell and Charles Laughinghouse attended the meeting, with Harrell and Laughinghouse commenting on the importance of bringing jobs to the county.

Though neither official knew what to expect in the effort’s first year, Harrell said the commission supported Focus on Forsyth “to go out and sell this great county that we have.”

“You can sit in a room and take orders or you can go out and sell,” he said. “If we bring jobs and investment into the community through the efforts, that’s what we’re ultimately looking for.”

Laughinghouse cautioned that there’s no quick fix.

“I think it’s going to take this year, 2010, just to get all these programs in place and get started,” he said. “It’s not something I think happens overnight.”

Also Wednesday, the development authority discussed moving its monthly meeting to 8:30 a.m. instead of 10:30 a.m.

The six members present supported the idea, but said they’d take a poll of the others before the next meeting, Feb. 17, which likely could be held at the earlier time.

The authority was slated to elect its new officers Wednesday. In light of the potential bylaw changes, however, the vote was postponed until next month.