Talk about town to the contrary, Cleburne officials have not abandoned their focus on recruiting and retaining industrial-based jobs and former Cleburne Economic Development Director Jerry Cash has not been forced out of his job.
So said Cash, Cleburne City Manager Rick Holden and Mayor Scott Cain on Wednesday.
“Jerry’s one of the best at industry,” Holden said. “He’s been doing that for years and will continue to do that. I’ve known Jerry for years and my respect for him is so that as city manager I refused to do anything that’s not in the best interest of Jerry or the city.
“Show me someone in Texas who’s done a better job than Jerry at [industrial recruitment] and dadgum, I’ll buy you a dinner.”
Although no longer employed by the city, Cash continues on with the Cleburne Economic Development Foundation in the role of executive vice president.
CEDF, originally named the Cleburne Industrial Foundation, was founded in 1963 to recruit business and industry to Cleburne.
Throughout the years, CEDF has proved instrumental in bringing more than 45 industries to town and creating more than 5,000 jobs, Cash said during the group’s annual meeting in 2012.
Cash, through his role with CEDF, will continue to focus on industrial recruitment, and recently signed a 12-month contract to work with the city. Cash, Cain and Holden said they expect that contract to extend well past 12 months.
“It’s political season,” Cash said of talk that he was forced out of the city. “It doesn’t matter what you tell some people; they’re going to make hay out of it.
“The foundation and board members wanted to first make sure the city wanted to maintain this relationship with CEDF, the purpose of which is to improve the quality of life in Cleburne by attracting new industry, retaining the industry we already have and creating more jobs, better jobs and building the tax base. Twelve months is the starting point. If things work out, it will be renewed.”