West Wilson booms, city seeks recruiter
The City of Lebanon is searching for someone to take the reins of economic development and recruitment.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said that three interviews with potential candidates have been held, but no decision has been made at present time. Currently, Craighead is filling in when he can to promote the city.
"We have sent out letters encouraging businesses to locate here, telling them that we want to work with them -- but you really need someone on it 24/7," he said.
Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino agreed. "That task has fallen on the mayor. His job is to run the city. What we need is someone with a background in this to come and encourage others to come and do business with the city."
Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath said money was allotted in this year's budget to fund the position - something she hopes will garner dividends for the city.
"The idea of a recruiter is to help us grow our economic base. You have options -- you can keep asking people for tax or you can grow. We need jobs and businesses for sales tax. We cannot do that without someone who spearheads that," she said.
Warmath said she hopes the hire will be someone with "evidence of how effective they have been in the past."
"I want to see a proven track record. This is not someone who is just a PR (public relations) person. That is not all we need," she continued.
"I believe if we find someone who can bring us the resources we need it will be a win-win for Lebanon and Wilson County."
Craighead added, "We would like to find someone who has the background and relationships already built. We need someone who goes out every day looking for restaurants, retail and businesses. We need someone who will tell others all the new things that are happening here."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.