GATESVILLE — Sam Golden, a retired business executive living in Pidcoke, resigned from the Coryell County Economic Development Board on Wednesday after county commissioners gave what he called a “vote of no confidence” to the board.
On Tuesday, commissioners voted 3-2 to delay action on the EDB request for a strategic economic development project until economic planners in Copperas Cove and Gatesville approved the plan.
“I was shocked and disappointed with the vote of no confidence in the board,” Golden said in a resignation message he emailed to the commissioners’ court.
County Judge John Firth and Commissioners Jack Wall and Justin Latham voted against the EDB’s proposed contract with Austin-based AngelouEconomics for a $60,000 comprehensive economic development strategy.
Commissioners Don Jones and Daren Moore voted to approve the project, which would be completed in two $30,000 phases over two years.
“We are sorry he feels the need to leave the board,” Firth said. “We will miss his knowledge of business.”
The requirement to get prior approval from the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation and the Gatesville Economic Development Board rankled Golden.
“Are we to ask their permission? What if they don’t approve our plan?” Golden said in the email.
Firth said he did not agree that the vote was one of “no confidence” in the board, but said the EDB plan does need to have “the unqualified support” of the Gatesville and Cove economic development groups to more forward.
“If Cove and Gatesville don’t think it is a good idea, we will have to re-look at this,” Firth said. “Maybe the county funding this isn’t the right way to do this.”
Golden suggested the county dissolve the EDB and “throw your support and resources” behind the economic development efforts of Gatesville and Cove.
Asked if the county would consider dissolving the EDB, Firth called the idea “premature,” but added, “I wouldn’t dismiss it.”
Named to the EDB in August, Golden was in business for several years in Fredericksburg, where he was active in the chamber of commerce and helped start the economic development organization in Gillespie County.
“Sam is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to economic development as well as the entire community,” EDB Chairman Dick Van Dyke said. “His services will be greatly missed.”
“Sam Golden was an asset to the EDB and contributed through his experience and savvy,” said Barbara Burrow, a member of the Gatesville City Council who sits on both the county and city economic development boards.