Larry Wynn, the chairman of the Advance Collaboration Team that crafted the document, said he plans to ask officials to share their thoughts on the initiative publicly.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Larry Wynn, the chairman of the Advance Collaboration Team that crafted the document, said he plans to ask officials to share their thoughts on the initiative publicly.

Jefferson County Council member Larry Wynn plans to bring a proposed interlocal agreement on economic development before the City Council and Board of Commissioners this month.

Wynn, the chairman of the Advance Collaboration Team that crafted the document, said he plans to ask officials to share their thoughts on the initiative publicly.

The proposed interlocal agreement would establish a Community Development Council that would be responsible for overseeing areas of economic development in the county.

If approved, the Community Development Council would be a seven-member board. The mayor of Madison would serve as a member of the board, as would a representative from the Hanover Town Council, County Council, County Commissioners and City Council.

The language of the interlocal agreement is such that if the mayor does not join the board or appoint a representative to join the board, then the City Council could appoint someone to that position. The same is true of the Commissioners, except the County Council could appoint someone to the board.

The other two positions would be filled by a representative of WorkOne and Ivy Tech Community College.

One of the biggest reasons the ACT committee is pushing an interlocal agreement with this specific structure - the inclusion of WorkOne and Ivy Tech - is to open the door for economic development grants. Wynn said the county currently does not qualify for such opportunities.

"Right now, we don't qualify for any of these (grants) without the passage of the ILA," he said.

The mayor and the Commissioners were not officially involved with the creation of the interlocal agreement. And that has caused a snag in the process.

Since the agreement was released, Ice Miller - the Indianapolis law firm that helped craft the proposal - has withdrawn from the process. The firm said it was notified that not all government entities were working in concert on the agreement, and in response, the firm's ethics board determined it would be a conflict of interest to proceed.

Wynn said the plan was to have Ice Miller attend meetings as the ACT board presented the document to each government entity. He said the firm was used because it was impartial to the process and because it is a leader in developing such agreements between municipalities.

"From that standpoint, we thought we had a win-win," Wynn said, adding that he is frustrated by efforts to remove Ice Miller from the process.

The board was not charged for Ice Miller's services.

The firm said it would re-engage in the process again only if it received a written letter from the executive boards involved.

Even without Ice Miller, Wynn said he plans to request that all government entities review the proposal. The County Council was given a copy of the plan at its January meeting but has not held a discussion yet.

Wynn said based on the appointments to the ACT board from the Hanover Town Council, County Council and City Council - and discussions during various public meetings - he feels they have a strong document. Furthermore, he said the document covers ideas from the mayor's JC-INVEST plan, the Blue Ribbon panel and heavy input from community members.

"We did exactly everything that we were entrusted to do," Wynn said.