County funds half of Greater Grays Harbor Inc. CEO, business development manager salaries
Grays Harbor County commissioners approved an agreement with Greater Grays Harbor Inc. Tuesday to fund half the salaries of CEO Dru Garson and business development director Grant Jones, with District 1 Commissioner Wes Cormier voting against the agreement.
Greater Grays Harbor Inc. serves as a regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization, promoting and supporting local businesses and reaching out to potential investors for the region, among other services. They are funded in part through contracts with the county and municipalities.
“They’ve given the county no direction,” said Cormier, saying the investment in Greater Grays Harbor Inc. doesn’t pay big enough dividends to the county.
The other half of the salaries are paid by the State Department of Commerce, said Commission President Randy Ross. He said he believes Greater Grays Harbor Inc. does provide a service to the county, and he and District 3 Commissioner Vickie Raines voted in favor of the agreement, which is up for renewal annually.
The agreement for the year totals $97,000 and the funds come from state Distressed Area Capital Improvement Funds for economic development personnel. These funds are returns on sales tax paid to the state, used to promote economic development.