On Thursday, Sept. 19, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners went behind closed doors for a hush-hush meeting with area economic development officials to talk about a proposed new project – either a new company coming to Guilford County or the expansion of one that’s already here.
It’s a mystery because, after the private discussion, no one let loose any clues. The commissioners didn’t say one word publically about the project once they came out of the closed session – which had many people trying to guess the nature of the project that seemingly popped up out of nowhere and that drew both Loren Hill, the President of the High Point Economic Development Corp., and Brent Christensen, the president and CEO of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, to the furtive meeting.
One interesting aspect of the mystery project is that the closed session discussion was put on the agenda at the last minute. (While county officials are allowed to keep the contents of a closed session private, they do have to state the reason for the closed session.)
The county had a closed session planned for the commissioners Sept. 19 meeting to discuss various legal matters but not to discuss any economic development project. When the county’s agenda for the Sept. 19 meeting was posted on the county’s website – on Friday, Sept. 13 – there was no mention of a closed session discussion pertaining to economic development. However, the agenda packets provided on the evening of the Sept. 19 meeting, just minutes before the meeting began, included a green addendum with the following addition: “Amend closed session motion to include discussion of business location and expansion.”
County officials came out of the Sept. 19 closed session and adjourned in public – taking no action on, and making no mention of, the clandestine project of unknown size and financial scope.
Many times, in the weeks following a closed session held to discuss business location or expansion, the name of the company will be announced due to the legal requirement the county has to notify the public of a public hearing before an economic incentives package can be approved.