Perry Village is looking for a new representative to appoint to the Perry Economic Development Council.
Mayor James Gessic recently asked Village Council to suggest names of community members who could fill a seat on the PEDC that used to be held by Jeff Jenkins.
Jenkins, who owns a business in the village, stepped down from PEDC after his term ended in 2019, said Karen Sundy, who serves as secretary of the economic development panel.
Sundy said Jenkins didn’t want to be re-appointed to the PEDC because of his increasing responsibilities as owner and president of Fidanza Performance. Located on Main Street in Perry Village, Fidanza Performance designs and manufactures flywheels, cam gears and clutches for high-performance automobiles, such as muscle cars and race cars.
When Gessic brought up the topic of a new Perry Village representative for PEDC, some council members wondered if the nominee was required to be a business owner, such as Jenkins.
However, Village Solicitor Jim Loiacono said members of the economic development group weren’t required to be self-employed.
“Given the history of the people on there, it’s just somebody that has some business acumen,” Loiacono said. “They don’t have to own a business in the village.”
Gessic requested that council members email him the names of community members who might be well-qualified to serve on the PEDC.
The Perry Economic Development Council consists of eight members, said Sundy, who also hold the position of Perry Township administrator. There are two representatives each from Perry Township; Perry and North Perry villages; and Perry Schools.
Members from each of the four entities are:
• Perry Township: Rick Amos, township trustee board chairman and owner of an independent insurance and financial services agency; and Tim Flenner, vice present and area manager of Lake County for ErieBank.
• Perry Village: Phil Cassella, a member of Village Council and the community’s Planning Commission; and the position vacated by Jenkins.
• Perry Schools: Lew Galante, school district chief financial officer; and Mark Welch, Perry School Board member.
Sundy said the Perry Economic Development Council works on drumming up business activity in the community. A separate panel, the Perry Joint Economic Development District Board, focuses on collecting income taxes from businesses within the JEDD boundaries in exchange for financing the construction of roads, sewer lines and other infrastructure to benefit these businesses.
In addition, the JEDD board reviews the district’s finances every year and evaluates the feasibility of making a financial distribution consisting of a 60 percent share to Perry Township and 20 percent each to North Perry and Perry villages. Those terms were stipulated in a contract when the district was established about 20 years ago.