With a new state budget hopefully just around the corner, officials at the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission discussed the possibility of alterations to work practices as the entity progresses.
For Joe Demott, a McKean County commissioner and chairman of the commission's board of directors, change is needed as the committee moves ahead.
"We can do things traditionally but I think with the changing times and changing funding environment, we need to take fresh approaches on how we do things," DeMott said. "We need to examine what we're doing now as we proceed forward in rallying our resources to get the job done better in the future. One of the things that strikes me that I would like to see is how we make use of the talent of the people on the complete board of directors.
"I'd like to see those become much more interactive and we have so many talented people out there, and those people are connected to other talented people who could provide resources and could help identify problems. We could take on a much more local level rather than the state and federal programs. I'd entertain any ideas that anyone would have in how we could make meetings more valuable so that we can get more out of the talent that's in the room."
Some changes have already come to fruition with the addition of several new members to the commission's loan review committee, pushing the membership total to 17.
"We've been taking a look at a few of the new compliance regulations for the Small Business First Fund and the First Industries Fund, guidelines are updated in regard to operational standards and they've taken a real hard look at our loan review committee," said loan program director Pat Brennen. "We, in turn, have added new members where we feel we're under-represented, some of the northern counties."
New members are Sara Andrews of the City of Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development; Michael Roche of the McKean County Industrial Development Authority; and Charles Veronesi, private citizen and former business owner and commercial lender.