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Marble Falls EDC board taps Chamber’s top official — Christian Fletcher — for executive director job

MARBLE FALLS — After several months of interviewing candidates, the Economic Development Corp. board has offered the executive director position to Christian Fletcher, who plans to step down as the top administrator at the Marble Falls/Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The EDC board during a special meeting Aug. 31 voted 5-2 to hire Fletcher for the job, which includes a salary and benefits advertised as $90,000-$100,000.

“He is good for Marble Falls,” said EDC President John Packer, who is also a City Council member.

The board considered Fletcher’s education, professional background and more than five years of experience as the executive director of the Chamber before reaching its decision, Packer recalled.

“He will be good for the job and good for the community,” Packer said.

Fletcher told The Tribune he plans to accept the EDC offer. He expects to receive pay at the low range of what was posted for the position, Fletcher said.

“It is an exciting new opportunity,” said Fletcher, who grew up in Marble Falls.

Also, he plans to meet Chamber officials to discuss his successor soon, Fletcher added.

“We will be meeting to discuss a transition,” he said.

Fletcher declined to discuss his salary paid by the Chamber, citing the organization’s privacy policies.

The EDC is a nonprofit group charged with attracting businesses to Marble Falls and keeping them in the city.

The City Council approves board appointees for the EDC and the organization’s budget, which is funded through sales taxes. Fletcher will be the only full-time employee.

Karen Carter and Jane Marie Hurst, who also is a councilwoman, dissented during the vote.

In addition to Packer, board members Keith Conrad, George “Butch” Kemper, Judy Miller and Steve Reitz voted in favor of hiring Fletcher.

The search for an executive director has taken several months. The board has met in executive session several times to consider the matter, only to emerge without taking action.

Earlier this year, the EDC board requested applications for the spot, receiving about 100 responses from both individuals and agencies.

EDC officials in the past said the Chamber applied as an agency, represented by Fletcher. The news that Fletcher was considered on an individual basis did not surface until Aug. 31.

“It was an option,” Packer said. “But the longer we looked at it — it didn’t seem like a good option for Marble Falls. It just didn’t make sense to put the two groups (EDC and Chamber) together that closely.”

Instead, the board voted to accept a personal application from Fletcher for the position, he added.

Fletcher is not the EDC’s first choice.

Several weeks ago, the board offered the position to Levelland EDC Executive Director Charles David “Dave” Quinn Jr. However, Quinn accepted a job with the Bastrop EDC.

Buda EDC Director Warren Ketteman also was a choice at one point. Another finalist withdrew his name in July.

Fletcher said he aims to review the board’s “plan of work” list during upcoming weeks.

“It has to be a key starting point as far as where the EDC goes next,” he added. “I hope to bring some stability to the table on behalf of the EDC and the community.”

In April 2006 Fletcher became executive director of the Chamber. In addition, he holds a master of arts in religion degree from Yale University in Massachusetts and an undergraduate degree from Duke University in North Carolina.

He is a Marble Falls High School graduate.

Earlier this year, there were tentative discussions about closer ties between the EDC and the Chamber, including having a Chamber representative serve with the economic development group.

The EDC has seen departures from two other employees just this year.

In February, Christy Fath, a former Burnet City Council member, was contracted by the EDC to work as an administrative assistant at an annual salary of $35,000 plus benefits. She was first hired on a temporary basis last November, according to officials.

She resigned after only a few weeks to work for Municipal Court, marking the second departure of an employee from the EDC in just a short period of time.

It was the second departure from the EDC. Special Projects Coordinator Olivia Cribbs had previously stepped down in early January due to health reasons.