posted on January 20, 2011 11:11
A just released state report is highly critical of how bonuses are paid at the Genesee County EDC.
Late this morning the highly touted local economic development agency responded.
"We make no apologies for what has been done," said GCEDC (Genesee County Economic Development Center) Board Vice President Jim Vincent,
"I think we've already put in place any corrective action. It was all just documentation of what was going on, our procedures have not changed and will not change going forward. We are paying for performance and have no regrets," Vincent said.
The Authorities Budget Office (ABO) authored the state report.
It is the financial watchdog of local industrial development agencies, such as the Genesee County EDC.
It recommends that the EDC try to recover more than $344,000 already paid to EDC employees as bonuses over the past five years. The ABO singled out bonuses of $60,000 paid to EDC President Steve Hyde in 2008 and 2009.
The ABO called the EDC’s bonus payment practices, "inappropriate".
Appearing this morning on WBTA’s “Main & Center” program, Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell defended the agency:
"They (GCEDC) have a very formalized process in place, both for individual performance as well as agency performance. When there wasn't the performance they had come to experience over the past five years, there were no incentive payments made in those years. They were doing it with funds the agency itself generated through its fees, not from funds they receive from the county," Gsell said.
The ABO also recommended that a $500 bonus paid to an EDC consultant in 2008 should be referred to law enforcement officials.
The ABO also took strong exception to the total salary and bonus paid the EDC president Steve Hyde, noting that Hyde is the highest paid industrial development agency official in the state and in 2009 earned $100,000 more than any other public employee in Genesee County.