Job filled in city by Baggett

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Promoting the city in the best way possible in order to attract new business and industry is just one of the hats to be worn by the city’s new director of program management.
Connie Baggett will officially begin her job as the city’s newest employee Jan. 2 and said she will hit the ground running with ideas on promoting the city and everything it has to offer.
“I’m ready to get to work for my hometown and help implement programs to make a positive impact for city residents,” Baggett said. “Brewton has the potential to be a leader in economic development and quality of life programs, and I’m thrilled to get the chance to be a part of that.”
Baggett, who was appointed to the newly created position by Mayor Yank Lovelace, will be responsible for grant development, implementation and management; programs assessment; event planning; community marketing and communications management among other duties.
The position was created by a vote of the city council in November and a job posting was on the bulletin board and the back door at City Hall, city officials said.
A salary for the position has not yet been set, according to City Clerk John Angel.
Baggett said creating new events will be part of her new role.
“We are already looking at some event planning for the city,” Baggett said. “Already in the early planning stages is hosting a video game tournament at Jefferson Davis Community College. One of the students had the idea and it sounds as if it would be a good thing for the city.”
Baggett said other residents who have ideas to boost the city’s image would be something she plans to build upon.
“I hope to create an advisory committee made up of area residents who have ideas for things that could help improve our city and the quality of life here,” Baggett said. “I have already been in contact with some people who are volunteering to step up and be involved in moving our city forward. I have been given the goal of bringing fun back to Brewton. Right now, we have a lack of fun things for young people to do. I believe having things to do for our residents will improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Among other duties, Baggett said she hopes to improve communication between the public and the city’s government.
“We need to improve the interaction between our city government and the residents,” Baggett said. “Being more responsive to the people and having more effective interaction with our people will be a benefit for everyone.”
Baggett said Brewton has the potential of becoming a more economically developed area — a job she plans to attack with enthusiasm.
“I will work on marketing our city and develop a positive image for Brewton throughout the region,” Baggett said. “I believe we can move forward in economic development and make sure to raise our profile so that we are in the running for some additional businesses and industries. There is no reason Brewton can’t be among the leaders in economic development.”
Much of what Baggett will do is a replacement of sorts for a contracted position. In November, city leaders ended a contract with a lobbyist who had worked to promote the city and secure grant funding for projects, she said.
“A lot of what I do will be some of the same duties as that person did,” Baggett said. “I have extensive experience in grant writing and will use that to help secure funds for the city.”
Baggett spent more than two decades as a journalist and said she had made many connections with business and industry leaders during that time.
“I have made some great contacts through those years that will be beneficial in this new position for Brewton,” Baggett said. “I know this will be a full-time job and I’m ready to move forward.”