Lindsay council approves new economic development position

Lindsay begins the process of searching for a new economic development coordinator who will oversee the Friday Night Market among other related duties

LINDSAY – Lindsay City Hall used to be a revolving door of staff and department heads. But as of late the city is expanding their employee pool.

Lindsay City Council and staff have been mulling over an economic development coordinator position in light of possibly taking on the city’s Friday Night Market themselves. At first the council and staff went back and forth over whether the position needs to be part time or full time.

In November, city manager Joe Tanner said the position should be permanent and full time. He offhandedly estimated the salary would range between $50,000and $60,000 and have the full compliment of public sector benefits. At the time councilwoman Rosaena Sanchez insisted that the position be part-time, and did not believe the level of work needed a full-time position.

The following council meeting in November recently promoted city services director, Neyba Amecuza, reminded the council that seasonal part time positions in the past led to some losses at McDermont.

“In the past when we were building McDermont and the Wellness Center, if you recall, we had a lot of seasonal employees, and a lot of the equipment would just walk away. So we would avoid that by having a full time person because we would have someone reliable,” Amecuza said.

Tanner also stated in November that there would be plenty of work for the position to take on and in December staff proposed a job description for the council to consider. According to a staff report this position will oversee the entirety of operations for the Friday Night Market/Lindsay Farmers Market. But they will also be the point-person for coordinating the city’s economic development and revitalization efforts, especially in the downtown area, as well as related community development block grant activities which include implementing the city’s proposed projects and programs under the American Rescue Plan Act recovery plan.

During the Dec. 14 city council meeting, Tanner said the position will make $75,000 between salary and benefits. But the council was torn over whether this position should be required to have at least an associate degree.

“If we’re looking at somebody to spearhead a project and to really promote the city, I would love for them to have some business background, so that they’re able to navigate certain situations and promote a variety of opportunities,” Councilman Romero Serna said. Fellow councilman Angel Cerros agreed.

Mayor Ramona Caudillo said that the city should look for people who currently live in Lindsay, and added that a degree does not necessarily make them more qualified.

“I’m going be honest, and this is me. If you’re looking for people in Lindsay, and you want to be able to employ our own people…not all of our people have an [Associate of Arts degree]. But I know there’s people out there that are just as intelligent. So that’s my opinion,” Caudillo said.

The council ultimately approved the job description.

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