Longview Economic Development Corp. is updating its bylaws for the first time since voters created the agency 28 years ago.

“A lot has changed structurally (and) organizationally,” LEDCO Board Chairman Conner Cupit said about the rules that establish regulations and rules. He has set a goal for the board of directors to vote on a final draft of updated bylaws at its next regular meeting on July 26.

“There’s been one amendment since (1991) to change officer titles, but other than that, we have very old, outdated bylaws,” Cupit said, “so we are bringing those current.”

LEDCO was created to manage economic development for the city of Longview and help companies that are interested in expanding in or into the Longview market. Over the years, the agency has opened two business parks, helped train the local workforce and has partnered financially in other ventures such as funding of the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy and the Guthrie Creek shared-use path now under construction.

Despite a number of decisions and changes from LEDCO’s independent board of directors, those changes haven’t been reflected in the organization’s bylaws, President/CEO Wayne Mansfield said.

“They were never incorporated into the minutes,” Mansfield said. “They were just separate resolutions, so we’re incorporating them to make them part of our bylaws.”

On Friday, LEDCO directors were each presented copies of the bylaws with red- and blue-lettered updates. Cupit has asked each director to pass along any suggestions or tweaks they might have to Board Vice Chairwoman Claire Henry, a local attorney.

The Longview City Council, which appoints directors to the LEDCO board, must given final approval to the updates before the bylaws can be official. Council members have been notified of the updating process, and the updates will be reviewed by LEDCO’s legal counsel and the City Attorney’s Office, Cupit and Mansfield said.

“We will take the entire month between now and our July meeting to have any board member at any time and through any means submit their feedback to Claire and Wayne,” Cupit said, “and the expectation would be that … we have our bylaws in position to vote on them to bring them current.”

Jimmy Daniell Isaac covers the city of Longview and Gregg County. Follow him on Twitter: @jimmyisaaclives.  

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