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Economic Development

May 25 – Reed Dulany appointed to SEDA as City Council decides to increase interviews of appointees to key Boards, Commissions

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

May 25, 2017 - The Savannah City Council began its Thursday morning work session with interviewing the final nominee being considered as the city’s appointee to SEDA, Reed Dulany.  Dulany was a key supporter and strategist for Mayor Eddie DeLoach in his campaign for office two years ago, and is president and owner of Dulany Industries, Inc,  the parent company of Southern States Chemical, Seagate Handling, and SeaPoint Industrial

Alderman Bill Durrence asked Dulany how he saw the integration of the city’s economic development department and goals versus those of SEDA. “How does this wind up meshing with or overlapping with the Savannah Economic Development and Renewal Authority?” to which Dulany responded, “I don’t know… communicating is the answer to that one.  Sitting down with Trip (president of SEDA) and seeing what the answers are … I’m not on SEDA yet so I haven’t been at the heart of what they do.”

Alderman John Hall said,“Being a successful businessman and industrialist, my concern is whether you have the time.”

“It’s an excellent question,” responded Dulany, who said that he would manage his SEDA responsibilities.  

Alderman Van Johnson asked Dulany about possible conflict of interests. “ I'm concerned about your ability to avoid conflicts of interest … or the appearance of conflicts.” And, he added, “Georgia now has a strengthened Ethics Law.  Do you see any conflicts there, or the need to recuse yourself?” in the case of possible insider information about prospective companies looking at coming to the area.

“I don’t,” responded Dulany.  “When industries come to town, they select a site that is best for them.  I don’t care how much you wine and dine them, they are going to pick what is best for them.”

But, Johnson, persisted that it, “is not only the conflict of interest, but the appearance of conflict.”

The three candidates interviewed for the appointment were Janice James, Bernetta Lanier and Dulaney,

At the afternoon session. Brian Foster nominated Dulany, seconded by Julian Miller.   Estella Shabazz nominated Lanier, seconded by Thomas.   The vote was 6 – 3 for Delany, with Johnson, Shabazz and Tony Thomas opposing his appointment.

More Interviews to be added

The consensus of the Council was to increase interviews of nominees to key boards and commissions, to include the MPC, Airport Commission, Historic Sites & Monuments, the Ethics Board, the Recreation Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.  The latter was urged by Alderman Brian Foster. “That’s a pretty important job,” he pointed out.  

The need to move quickly was also raised, and a session next Tuesday was added to the Council’s schedule.  Several bodies have complained that their work is being held up by lack of Council action on appointments including the Recreation Commission and Park and Tree. 

“The Recreation Commission appointees are by District. I have the vacancy in my District, said Alderman Johnson.  Obviously, we’re falling behind.  We are impeding the work of these boards and commissions by not getting this done,” who recommended that they add Tuesday work sessions to get the appointments done, which was approved. June 8 was set for the next round of interviews.   

“And, I am increasing concerned about the diversity of our boards and commissions,” he added.  

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