The Economic Development Partners' public meeting Tuesday offered a good preview of the direction the group plans to pursue.

The meeting was in response to a call for more transparency from EDP. A public meeting will be held before or after the group's regular monthly meetings which are not open to the public.

Board members said that several areas have been or are being addressed: the group's bylaws have been reworded; a 2013 budget is near completion, and the selection process for board members has being restructured. The board also plans to post more financial statements and information on its website.

The message from interim EDP Director Bernie Murphy, however, was clear. He said the county must create a good environment for business and define the kinds of businesses that complement our area.

Mayor Damon Welch explained how EDP is only one part of his larger JC-Invest economic development plan. For success to be achieved, it is critical that the city-EDP relationship grows. We feel good about what we saw Tuesday.

Patience will be needed. Don't expect jobs to flow into Jefferson County immediately. What is being done now is building a good foundation for the future.

If there was a disappointment from Tuesday's meeting it was that only three members of the public attended. The relationship between EDP, local government and community members will succeed if the lines of communication remain open.