3/11/2011Posted by MJ
North Tonawanda’s economic development coordinator was announced Wednesday as Lockport’s new director of planning and development.
R. Charles Bell was appointed by Mayor Michael W. Tucker to the new position, part of the city’s restructuring that places most departments under one of four major directors.
Bell, 35, signed a five-year contract that starts his pay at $72,000 a year. The contract says subsequent raises are up to the mayor and, if granted, will be at least 3 percent per year.
The Common Council didn’t get to vote on the appointment or the contract terms, but it did vote, 4-2, to grant Bell a waiver of the city’s residency requirement. Bell lives in Getzville...
...Bell said he applied for the Lockport job because “I think it’s a community with a ton of potential. . . . You’ve already got a strong business community. I’m impressed with the direction city government is taking with the restructuring and making development more of a priority.”...Best of luck to Bell. One of the benefits of hiring someone local is the way the state works certain grant application. Seniority (and track record) of those on the grant application is taken into account. Bell's experience here is a big plus. Just let's hope that the city (Mayor) makes the most out of this new position in regards to laying out a path to future growth and following it.