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Partnership Gwinnett nonprofit board leaders chosen

DULUTH — Decisions on how public funding will be used for economic development were tabled Friday, during the first meeting of a new nonprofit.

The lunch hour session was mostly organizational for the Partnership Gwinnett Public Funding Entity (PFE), created to allow public scrutiny of the government funds given for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce economic development effort.

“I think we have moved in the right direction and I feel good about how we have the organization set up,” said Gwinnett Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who insisted the nonprofit be formed after complaints that Chamber of Commerce records were not subject to Georgia’s sunshine laws. “I continue to feel good abot having the cooperative spirit for economic development.”

The 10-member board (seven are voting members) will oversee the more than $850,000 in public funds donated annually to the Partnership Gwinnett effort, including contributions from the county government, school board, convention and visitors bureau, local municipalities and community improvement districts. The private donations will continue to be maintained through the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, which is not subject to the state open records law, said Chamber senior vice president Nick Masino, an ex-officio member of the nonprofit board.

During Friday’s meeting, Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette was chosen to serve as board chairman, while Gwinnett Village CID Director Chuck Warbington was named CEO and the tourism board’s Lisa Anders was elected secretary-treasurer.

“It’s all about openness and now we have a clear channel for that,” Burnette said, adding that the city’s contribution to the effort has been worth the expense. “It’s all good for the county. It’s important for the quality of life and provides jobs. … I think the whole county has really benefitted.”

Comments

JimmyOrr 1 year, 5 months ago

Selecting Chuck Warbington as CEO of the newly formed Partnership Gwinnett Public Funding Entity was a good call. I have the utmost confidence in Chuck when it comes to this thing called leadership. Since the new board will be about transparency, let me be transparent in saying that Chuck and I don't always see eye to eye. When we don't, we simply agree to disagee, call our dogs named FIDO, and Forget It - Drive On. If I understand Nick Masino correctly, any private donations channeled through the Chamber of Commerce for economic development will be as such and not subject to state open records laws and Masino will not be a voting member of the public funding entity. If this be the case, I am good with that as my private donation is no one's business except mine and the organization receiving the donation. However, if the money comes via way of the taxpayers dime, then that is a whole different ball game. Every dime spent by governments whether local, state, or national should be duly accounted for and every taxpayer should be afforded the right to see that expenditures of their tax dollars are and can do duly accounted for. In closing, although not related to this article, does it look like the taxpayers are going to "be on the hook" to retire the bond debt used to fund the Gwinnett Barves stadium?

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SuxBeanU 1 year, 5 months ago

as usual, politicians and the politically connected.

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kevin 1 year, 5 months ago

Not so smart for corrupt Suwanee.

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