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EDC to begin director hunt

"As of Monday, the Island District Economic Development Council was without an executive director.Tom Shaughnessy, who headed the agency for the past two years, resigned from the position effective Friday to move into the director's chair of the Island Communications Center (I-COM).Andy Hunter, EDC president, said Monday that he and the EDC board of directors have just begun to plan a series of meetings at which they will decide how and with whom they will replace Shaughnessy. Hunter said the task will take a minimum of 60 days, and should start with a board meeting in early May.Shaughnessy, a Republican, took the director's job in 1998 after he lost an election for Island County commissioner. He served from 1994 to 1998 as Camano Island's representative on the county board of commissioners. Last week, the I-COM board of directors appointed Shaughnessy as the agency's interim director for the next six months. In making the move, Shaughnessy gets a pay increase from the $50,000 he made annually at the EDC to $64,000.The EDC is a public-private agency charged with expanding business in Island County and in the San Juan Islands. The agency can provide existing and prospective business owners with planning consulting, loan search assistance and other business services.The EDC has most recently been in the public eye for its support of the development of a destination resort on South Whidbey in 1997, and for providing business services to the A-OOK development group, a dues-paying member of the organization. A-OOK is currently developing an Exxon gas station at the corner of Fish Road and Highway 525. "

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