Lippy, Dell more prominent in push for development COUNTYWIDE

November 26, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

An article in Thursday's Carroll County edition should have said that Carroll Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy have shown more interest in economic development in recent months because they have more direct control over the county Office of Economic Development.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

Carroll Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy have been more supportive of economic development in recent months because they have more control over the Department of Economic and Employment Development, Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said yesterday.

"I have seen a difference in their attitude," said Mrs. Gouge, who has been an advocate for economic development since taking office six years ago.


"Elmer and Donald are supportive of economic development now," she said.

Yesterday, the commissioners' description of Carroll's efforts to attract business impressed Maryland Secretary of Economic and Employment Development Mark L. Wasserman, who met with the commissioners at the County Office Building.

"I'm encouraged by what we heard," Mr. Wasserman said of the 90-minute meeting in which the commissioners explained their economic development goals to him and three members of his staff.

The commissioners' message that they are organized and committed to economic development was clear, Mr. Wasserman said, adding that he is not worried about how the staff is structured.

Mr. Dell said he and Mr. Lippy have been more active in economic development since July, when Carroll's economic development director resigned without a public explanation.

The commissioners did not replace James C. Threatte, but appointed Robert A. "Max" Bair, their executive assistant, to oversee the office.

With Mr. Bair in charge of the department, Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy feel they have closer control, Mrs. Gouge said.

She recently completed a course at the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Bair had completed the same course a number of years ago.

Mr. Dell, who campaigned in 1990 on a pledge to "Keep it Country," said he let Mrs. Gouge take the lead in economic development during the past two years. But when efforts became "stagnant," he said, he heard complaints from county business people and decided to become more involved.

Since Mr. Threatte left, he and Mr. Lippy feel closer to economic development work because Mr. Bair is in charge, Mr. Dell said.

Mr. Bair works in the commissioners' office and sits in on most of their meetings with staff members from all departments. William E. Jenne, business development manager for the county's Office of Economic Development, oversees daily economic development work.

Mr. Dell said he has become more of an advocate for economic development because he knows more about what's going on. Part of doing a complete job as a commissioner is working to attract new business, he said.

Carroll needs a stronger industrial base to prevent so many residents from commuting to work in other places, he said. About half of the county's residents commute elsewhere to work.

"I see young people going out of the county for professional jobs," Mr. Dell said.

"I'd like to reassure folks right here that we have increased our interest and our effort," Mr. Lippy told Mr. Wasserman.

"There's a renewed effort to really prove ourselves, to prove we're really serious about economic development efforts," Mr. Lippy said.

The message that Carroll needs more industry to keep taxes down for residents is starting to be accepted, Mrs. Gouge said.

Mr. Dell emphasized that he doesn't want economic leaders to forget agriculture.

"We have a strong agriculture industry in Carroll County, and we'd like to keep it that way," he said.

James W. Peiffer, director of DEED's Division of Business Development, said Carroll is ideally situated because of its access to metropolitan markets and resources. County leaders must decide what direction they want Carroll to take and keep at it, he added.

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