Econ director leaving position

April 03, 2007 12:00 am
Kim Schmidt and Chris Howard during Schmidt's resignation ().
Kim Schmidt and Chris Howard during Schmidt's resignation ().

By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

The Tri-Agency Economic Development Corporation's director is resigning after nearly two years in the post.

Kim Schmidt will leave Del Norte County for Southern California later this month. He resigned Monday.

Schmidt has accepted an economics development position with the city of Poway in San Diego County, where he and his family will relocate.

"There is a lot to be said about this neck of the woods," Schmidt said. "We are sad to leave the community."

The Council of Economic Advisors created Schmidt's position. Schmidt contributed to the infrastructure project called has199.com; which includes several projects including broadband. These projects were his main focus.

"We have made a lot of progress," said Blake Alexandre, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. "He will be missed, but the projects will continue on."

Chris Howard, president of Crescent City-Del Norte Chamber of Commerce worked with Schmidt and celebrated successes in infrastructure with him at a gala on Saturday.

"Kim attended meetings with regularity," Howard said. "It was a position we had never had before."

Howard emphasized that Schmidt made a collective focus possible in the community and that he "fulfilled a role that was critical."

Through outreach, Schmidt hired Infor-matics Consulting Services owner John Irwin to undertake the second phase of has199.com. Since November, Irwin has handled the telecommunication project in Del Norte County and he will increase broadband services.

"San Diego's gain is our loss," Irwin said. "I think Kim has demonstrated leadership. It takes a while for people to see these results.

"A lot of the work that Kim is doing has occurred out of the limelight. The groundwork that he has laid is going to payout in the long run to Del Norte County."

Although Schmidt has resigned, an energetic vibe toward revitalizing business lingers in the community.

"I am hopeful that we will not lose momentum in June. We made a major breakthrough," Irwin said. "It (broadband cables) is critical for the community. It is the lifeblood of economics.

"With it Del Norte can compete with anyone in the world."

Schmidt said, "I remain very optimistic about the future of Del Norte County. It is a matter of keeping that common vision. The city really stepped up and made a commitment."

Schmidt will leave the position April 20.

Alexandre said the council is not looking at other candidates at this time.

"We've always known that this was a temporary position and we are looking to make it a permanent position," he said. "I am hopeful that elected officials will step up and we can begin to assess the next move."

A draft of the has199.com project will be given by Irwin in a few weeks and he will present a final version in June.