It started with 63.
Out of the initial batch of applications submitted to the county for its new Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director position, 17 were then chosen for phone interviews.
Months later, the candidates were smoked down to three — Chris Clifton, Helga van Eckert and Bruce Register — all of which were interviewed all day Thursday, Jan. 5, by the Economic Opportunity Advisory Council.
Finally, this morning, Jan. 6, the council convened once more to choose a favorite. They chose Helga van Eckert.
Van Eckert, who currently works in New Jersey redevelopment, told the board Thursday that she wasn’t initially interested in leaving her current job. But this Flagler County gig, it was just too juicy to pass up, she said.
The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners will cast its final vote Jan. 17. If they follow the EOAC’s recommendation, Van Eckert will be offered the job.
The council’s second choice was Chris Clifton, who several board members noted they would hire in a second if Van Eckert wasn’t available. Its third was Bruce Register.
One of Van Eckert’s prize achievements is the creation of a $72 million, 1.2 million-square-foot industrial complex she helped build on a vacant lot in Perth Amboy, N.J.. It generated almost $3 million and created more than 630 jobs.
See next week’s print edition of the Palm Coast Observer for more.