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CEDC/Economic Development Dept Merger Still Possible

July 2nd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Although negotiations designed to merge the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation with Allegany County’s economic development department fell apart in May when the CEDC board rejected the county’s proposal- the door has not yet closed on the possibility. Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss has stated on several occaisions that the merger is something the city is still very much interested in seeing come to fruition; and County Commissioners President Jake Shade echoed those sentiments following last week’s county meeting…


Speculation had been that personality conflicts between CEDC executive director Paul Kelly and then county administrator Brandon Butler is what led to merge talks breaking down. Butler resigned as administrator at the end of May; and Kelly has since submitted his resignation. Shade was asked if he thinks a change in key personnel might lead to a deal…



6 Responses to “CEDC/Economic Development Dept Merger Still Possible”

  1. July 02, 2020 at 7:27 am, Ken said:

    Loosing Brandon is a great loss for the county.. Loosing Kelly is a fantastic gift. Kelly was power hungry and didn’t want anyone having any oversight on his inability to complete any projects.


  2. July 02, 2020 at 8:11 am, Welchy said:

    City screwed it up once and will screw it up again!


    • July 02, 2020 at 8:14 am, Ken said:

      City never took a vote on it, Kelly’s CEDC is the group that screwed up the merger. They were going to have to be reportable to someone else other than themselves and the CEDC didn’t like having to be responsible for their failure to succeed.


  3. July 02, 2020 at 9:37 am, Paul J. Kelly, Jr. said:

    Ken (if that is your name), your opinions are outlandish and lacking factual support. The CEDC Board is directly answerable to the M&CC of Cumberland via a contract and the “power of the purse.” The Mayor sits on the CEDC Board, and the CEDC provides the M&CC with detailed reports on the second Tuesday of each month. We also report informally to members of the M&CC on a weekly basis. All CEDC projects have been pre-approved by the M&CC. All CEDC projects have been the subject of meetings that are open to the public and the media. Had the merger continued beyond April 1st, the CEDC would have been similarly responsible to the County Commissioners. The merger did no occur because there were fundamental disagreements among the elected officials, including the City of Frostburg, about funding and the structure of the entity. Alleged personality conflicts were not therefore the cause of the failed attempt at merger. With regard to the allegation of being “power hungry,” I had advised all concerned parties during merger negotiations that my tenure would be ending soon. The CEDC also advocated for an entity governed by elected officials and the private sector, and a system of checks and balances that would prevent any single person or entity from dominating the economic development agenda for selfish personal or political gain. It is therefore ridiculous for you to suggest that I or any person on the CEDC Board sought power or control. Lastly, the CEDC has completed numerous projects including the COVID-19 outreach to 300+ small businesses, the COVID-19 small business loan, the provision of assistance to several small companies that are expanding their work force and business, etc. Perhaps you’d like to meet with me, my staff or the CEDC Board to become better informed before making such outlandish comments.


  4. July 02, 2020 at 12:50 pm, Ed Dodrill said:

    Please let this merger crap just die and go away.


  5. July 03, 2020 at 8:52 am, clyde bantz said:

    These areas need to merge. Actually, the entire city government should come under the county government.If this is done the city might survive!


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