Local government critic Bob Enos resigns from EDC Operations Board
WILLMAR— Local government critic Bob Enos has resigned from the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission’s Operations Board.
Enos has criticized the EDC’s direction; the agency’s use of taxpayer funds and what he said are potential conflicts of interest.
He also criticized the City Council’s approval of a business subsidy for Torgerson Properties hotel remodeling and expansion project, and he raised the issue of what he said were potential conflicts of interest on the part of elected and appointed officials working on the business subsidy proposal for Jennie-O Turkey Store’s expansion project.
In his March 17 letter to Yanish and council members, Enos said, among other things, that the EDC has failed to live up to its mission and that “in its nine years of operation not one formal evaluation of its production has been offered to make its case for its existence.’’
His appointment to the Operations Board by Mayor Frank Yanish was approved by the City Council in January 2013 to fill an unexpired term that was to end in 2015.
Operations Board Chairman Beverly Dougherty said the resignation creates another vacancy on the seven-member board.
Two members went off the Operations Board at the end of 2013, leaving two vacancies. Under the bylaws, new members are nominated either by the mayor of Willmar or by one of the Kandiyohi County Commissioners, depending on the geographic requirements of the vacancy.
Yanish proposed filling one vacancy with the appointment of Linda Kacher. Kacher’s nomination was approved by a bare margin by the City Council for forwarding to the EDC’s Joint Powers Board.
City appointments to the Operations Board are only recommendations to the six-member Joint Powers Board. Dougherty said the Operations Board will be waiting to see what the Joint Powers Board does with Kacher’s nomination.
It may be a couple of months before a decision is made, however, according to Dougherty. The Joint Powers Board, which is comprised of three county commissioners and three council members, meets four times a year, while the Operations Board meets monthly.