Lyburn to step down but keep county ties

Development director switching to private role

July 23, 2004|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

John T. "Jack" Lyburn Jr. is leaving the county's employ within two months, but he will continue his efforts to attract and retain businesses as a consultant to Carroll's Industrial Development Authority, a private group that conducts real estate transactions for the county.

Budgets for several of the county's major industrial undertakings - notably the Warfield Project in Sykesville and the Technology Park in Westminster - include money for consultant fees, said Arthur Peck, chairman of the development authority. He envisions Lyburn as a project manager at the Technology Park, he said.

"We will be hiring Jack on a temporary basis as long as there is money in our budget," Peck said. "If Jack stays available, it will make my job a lot easier. Without someone's finger on the pulse, some of these projects could founder. We can use Jack's expertise and management."

Lyburn said yesterday, while presiding for the last time at an Economic Development Commission meeting, "I want to shepherd those projects along so that we don't miss a beat."

Lyburn is resigning after a decade as Carroll's economic development director. He said he will pursue his goal of opening a commercial development and real estate business in Westminster. At the request of the county commissioners, he has agreed to postpone his resignation until at least the end of next month.

"We want continuity, and Jack has assured us that he will be available," said county Commissioner Dean L. Minnich, who added that he did not expect to have a replacement for Lyburn until about November.

Several Economic Development Commission members praised Lyburn's efforts, particularly his agency's strong working relationship with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the securing of tens of millions of dollars in state grants for businesses.

In fiscal year 2004, the county received more than $6.3 million in business grants and loans from the state.

"He put Carroll County on the map in Maryland," said Sue Chambers, the departing chairwoman of the development commission. "Jack will be working with IDA, and we will have continuity in this office.

Lyburn deflected the praise, saying, "My success will be how well we are doing a few years from now.

"Resident industry is the bread and butter of this county," he said. "Take care of what you have here."

The development commission also asked for the county's official approval of its nominations, including Robert G. Holmes as chairman and Ethan Seidel as vice chairman.

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