Live Oak —
The Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night at their regular monthly meeting to hire Alvin Jackson of Boynton Beach as the county’s new economic development director. County Administrator Randy Harris will report to the board at their next meeting June 3, if Jackson accepts the job and the salary negotiated between parties.
How we got here
The county held interviews in February and out of 20 applicants, Shane Farnsworth of Columbus, Ohio was selected as the top candidate. Jackson was ranked second and Allan Lane of North Port placed third.
Farnsworth originally accepted the position, however, Harris announced at the April 1 meeting Farnsworth declined the offer, citing a family illness as his reason.
At the same meeting, Harris told the commissioners he had conversations with Chamber board members regarding having Chamber Executive Director Austin Richmond as the entry person for new companies seeking to locate in Suwannee County. However, at the second meeting in April, Harris informed the board the chamber was not interested in entertaining an interlocal agreement with the county at this time.
Following the announcement from the chamber, Harris then asked the board to consider partnering with the city of Live Oak on economic development. However, during the meeting Tuesday night, Harris announced to the board the city was not prepared to do so at this time. Harris recommended the board hire Jackson and direct his staff to begin salary negotiations.