County looks to market itself


By Jim Poole

Finding someone who can combine marketing skills with economic development may be a tall order for Schoharie County.
“There are people out there with those skill sets. Believe it or not, they do exist,” said county Planning Director Alicia Terry.
She was explaining how the county intends to replace economic developer Jody Zakrevsky, who retired earlier this month after a decade on the job.
Mr. Zakrevsky’s job title described his duties. His recent economic development work included bringing Intelligent Fish to the former Guilford Mills plant, filling a grant application to extend Cobleskill’s water and sewer lines to Howe Caverns and overseeing micro-enterprise loans to local businesses.
Ms. Terry and Sean Jordan, economic development assistant, will continue those projects in the interim.
But given the opportunity to fill Mr. Zakrevsky’s job, Ms. Terry wants to tweak it a little.
“We want someone to focus on marketing Schoharie County within the county and within the region,” she said.
“Who can successfully be the face of Schoharie County?”
The county had such a person in Julie Rohan, who worked with the Empire Zone program. But the state ended Empire Zones, and Ms. Rohan is no longer on the staff.
“It became clear to us that what we’ve lacked is a marketing person,” Ms. Terry said.
In particular, Ms. Terry wants the new person to work closely with local business groups such as Cobleskill Partnership Inc. and Schoharie Promotional Association and Sharon Springs Chamber of Commerce.
With Mr. Jordan, the new person and herself, Ms. Terry sees the team attending the meetings of those local groups.
“We should be out there,” Ms. Terry said. “We need to increase our outreach. We can divide up the meetings and make it work.”
Economic development was a separate county department. The Board of Supervisors consolidated some offices for 2011, and now economic development will be within the Planning and Development Agency, Ms. Terry said.
The new position will be a Civil Service post. The salary will be $41,582, about $20,000 less than Mr. Zakrevsky earned, Ms. Terry said.
The job has no title yet. Ms. Terry expects interviews to be done in the winter and the new person hired in the spring.