GSDP studies possible income shortfall

Though numbers aren’t final, Greater Starkville Development Partnership officials are taking a close look at a potential membership revenue shortfall, hoping it won’t pan out and pledging no reduction in services.
The GSDP promotes economic, community and tourism development in Starkville and Oktibbeha County.
The organization’s board met Friday morning. Officials announced they would take discussion about specifics about on its budget and bylaws into a closed executive session.
The panel closed the meeting “to discuss specific information on membership, revenues and personnel. The crux of it is our membership list is not public information; Our membership’s level of investment is not public record,” GSDP President and CEO Jon Maynard said in clarifying the decision afterwards.
“Those are the things we were discussing – the who and how much and the implications on revenue and personnel.”
Sammy Slaughter, the GSDP Board treasurer, said after the meeting: “We’re projecting a possible decrease in giving due to the economic conditions and adjusting our expenses accordingly. We hope there is no decrease in giving but we want to be prepared in case. We still will not have any change in services provided by the Partnership.”
Maynard said: “We’re working to affirm membership commitments. Once we have a better idea about economic realities, then the expense side of our budget can be addressed.”
He also said: “The proposed budget contains a large reduction in previous years’ member investment. I felt the board was owed an explanation for why we were conservatively estimating the revenues in the budget.”
GSDP officials plan a membership drive and capital campaign this spring, Maynard said.
“In the mean time, we are having personal conversations with our key investors to reaffirm their commitments,” he said.
The board will finalize its budget at the next board meeting after the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority adopts its spending plan, Maynard said.
In a separate matter, the board heard Maynard discuss his trip in July to the Farnborough Air Show in Great Britain.
Officials in the Golden Triangle region recently began marketing property adjacent to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport as an aerospace park.
Maynard and other officials from Mississippi went to the air show to promote local and state assets.
“The value in it is we get exposure to the who’s who in aerospace globally. (The Golden Triangle has) become an active participant in aerospace recruitment with the state of Mississippi,” he said.
Officials hope to attend the Paris Air Show in June and are working on funding the trip, Maynard said.