Maryland's secretary of economic and employment development plans to visit Carroll to discuss the county's restructured economic development office in the wake of the director's resignation.
Mark L. Wasserman, the secretary, wants to hear how Carroll is handling economic development since Director James C. Threatte resigned unexpectedly last month, Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said Wednesday
Mr. Threatte, the county's economic development director for three years, resigned July 30. Neither he nor the commissioners would say why.
The commissioners did not replace Mr. Threatte, but assigned Robert A. "Max" Bair, their executive assistant, to oversee the office.
Mr. Wasserman wants to hear the county's plans for economicdevelopment and offer assistance if possible, Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said.
The commissioners and Mr. Bair met briefly with Mr. Wasserman during a recent Maryland Association of Counties meeting in Ocean City.
Department spokeswoman Jane Howard said Mr. Wasserman has not set a date for the visit. He could not be reached for comment.
Economic development efforts will continue even though the office has no full-time director, Mrs. Gouge said.
"We can't give up. It's one of the most important things," she said. "Without a good industrial base we'll see taxes escalate very, very rapidly.
Mr. Bair -- who did economic development work for Carroll in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- presented his ideas to the county's Economic Development Commission (EDC) at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
Mr. Bair urged the EDC and the commissioners to get more involved in meeting people who are interested in locating their businesses in Carroll and to consider a public-private partnership for funding economic development efforts.
Mr. Lippy said he wants the EDC to stay "intact, alive and more active if possible."
Stanley "Jack" Tevis III, an EDC member, said the commission must help residents understand that industrial development may change "the countryside and the quality of life" but that the changes would be worth it because they would create jobs and increase the county's tax base.
Also Wednesday, EDC member Paul Denton announced the winners of the county's Industry Enterprise awards, to be given at the annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Martin's Westminster. The awards are to be given to companies that have expanded in the last year.
The winners are Advanced Vacuum Co. Inc. of Westminster, Joseph A. Bank Clothiers of Hampstead, Evapco Inc. of Taneytown, Knorr Brake Corp. of Westminster, Londontown Corp. of Eldersburg and Merritt, of Baltimore, which built the Eldersburg Business Center.