The Howard County executive is considering incorporating the county's economic development office as a private, non-profit agency.
Dyan L. Brasington, the county's economic development director, said that the agency's advisory committee is reviewing such a proposal and will forward it to County Executive Charles I. Ecker next spring.
She said that a non-profit economic development corporation would have the advantage "of placing the agency at arm's length from the politics of local government, and it would receive both public and private monies to operate."
The county's office of economic development has a $335,000 annual budget and a six-member staff.
Ms. Brasington said that a private corporation could help the county implement the Economic Development Plan introduced in September.
The plan calls for a more visible, aggressive effort that will try to attract specialized manufacturing firms, international business, health-medical industries and corporate or regional business headquarters, while encouraging local business expansion.
"It is very hard to plant the seeds for the future in the midst of a fiscal crisis in government," said Ms. Brasington.
"So, we are looking for other resources to implement the county's Economic Development Plan."
Ms. Brasington said that she believed legislation would be required to establish the non-profit corporation.