The City of San Angelo Development Corporation heard its second public update by MedHab CEO Johnny Ross since the city granted a $3.6 million economic development incentive package. City Council approved the package in January 2012, inking the contract in August of the same year. Council changed the city's ethics standards such that Alvin New could remain Mayor, as well as a significant MedHab investor and member of the company's Board of Directors. City leaders tried to pass off Mayor New's role as a member of MedHab's Advisory board. This blogger caught that lie, which the Standard Times Kia Collier kindly broadcast.
Fast forward to today, where City Council members can no longer remain in their position if the City provides economic development money to an entity they own or in which they have a stake. This change came about from Mayor New's replacement, former City Councilman Dwain Morrison, the sole dissenter in awarding the MedHab incentive package.
MedHab CEO Johnny Ross held his cards close to his chest on prior promises and future plans of employment, the main reason for the incentive award. Over thirty months ago City Council leaders' eyes danced with visions of 227 new jobs. The August 27, 2014 COSADC agenda packet said MedHab had 4 jobs in San Angelo. Ross noted with the hiring of one last week, the company now had six San Angelo employees.
Ross's presentation felt like a sales pitch. The series of slides on product features may have been impressive for a physical therapy convention, but seemed overkill for an economic development board.
Of his twenty or so slides only one dealt with MedHab's progress, with remarkably little on the $3.6 million incentive package.
One COSADC member was relieved to learn that Alvin New remains on MedHab's Board. New intends to make big money from his series of investments in MedHab. I imagine his board service provides significant equity compensation, which would be realized in any sale of MedHab.
COSADC board members learned MedHab's production site moved from Athens, Texas to Watertown, South Dakota. This does not fit with MedHab's public language, saying San Angelo would be the company's production and manufacturing site.
"It's a manufacturing facility, so it's the primary type of job we would like to have," Mayor Alvin New said. "It's not recirculating money."
Numerous COSADC members encouraged Ross to move MedHab's South Dakota manufacturing jobs here. Think about that this Labor Day weekend.