by Joni Astrup
Elk River Economic Development Authority (EDA) President Ron Touchette is being replaced when his term as EDA commissioner ends Dec. 31.
Mayor John Dietz makes appointments to the EDA and the City Council approves the appointments.
On Dec. 5, Dietz asked the City Council to approve the appointment of Bryan Provo to the EDA effective Jan. 1. The City Council agreed in an unanimous vote.
Dietz said he wanted someone on the EDA to represent industry. Provo is vice president and general manager of Alliance Machine in Elk River.
Touchette is the broker and CEO of Rock Solid Companies, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. He said he’s disappointed, but that it’s the mayor’s prerogative.
“He can choose to do whatever he feels is the best course of action,” Touchette said. “I’m disappointed but he was the one that was elected and he gets to make that decision. If that’s what he feels is in the best interest of Elk River then that’s what should be done.”
Touchette said his goal from the time he was first on the EDA has been to promote Elk River. He has been a champion of the city’s branding process to give the city an identity and tell people about Elk River. He hopes that continues.
Touchette was appointed to the EDA in June 2008. He was elected EDA president by the seven-member body in April 2010 and re-elected president in January 2011.
The EDA is made up of three citizens and four council members.
In a Nov. 14 memorandum to the EDA, Dietz said: “After a lengthy thought process, I have decided to ask the City Council to approve the appointment of Bryan Provo as an EDA commissioner effective Jan. 1, 2012. I feel strongly that industry needs to be represented on the EDA. Attracting industry to Elk River to expand our tax base is one of the main goals of the EDA.”
Dietz thanked Touchette for his years as an EDA commissioner and said he’s done a good job serving the citizens of Elk River.
Touchette was also recognized Monday, Dec. 12, during the last EDA meeting of the year. EDA Commissioner Pat Dwyer introduced a resolution thanking Touchette for his service and recognizing his contributions; it passed unanimously.
In a related matter, Touchette will also be leaving the Elk River Energy City Commission. He represented the EDA on that commission.