Maurice (Moe) Clare is back in Warren.
The retired owner of the former Bristol County Dodge dealership on Child Street is now the point man for economic development in Warren.
Clare was hired for the 10-hours-a-week position about three weeks ago after serving for a year on the town’s economic development board.
“They always wanted someone to pull things together,” said Clare from a tiny closet-sized space in the building official’s office in Town Hall. “I applied and I’m very happy to be here.”
Clare was hired to assist new and potential business owners in Warren to navigate local regulations so that the process of opening shop in town is as easy as possible and to assist the economic development board in attracting new business to town. His official title is administrative assistant for economic development.
“My job is to be a facilitator,” Clare said. “To simplify the process and make Warren more customer-friendly.”
Clare’s priority to date has been to make the entire process of getting building permits and fire approvals handled as quickly and painlessly as possible. To do that, he has enlisted the aid of the new RI Office of Regulatory Reform, which has been created to “streamline the process of opening a business in Rhode Island.”
An initial meeting with personnel in that office, a part of the RI Office of Management and Budget, took place on Dec. 6.
“We’re their fourth municipality,” Clare said. “We will condense the process.”
Clare said he plans to hold biweekly meetings with town employees and members of Warren’s boards and committees.
“Together, we’re better,” said Clare. “People get discouraged. We’re here to make it easier.”
Clare also expects to play a key role in attracting new businesses to Warren. He plans to utilize skills he used as a business owner and one of three people who were instrumental in bringing the Providence Bruins minor league hockey team to Providence.
“People said it couldn’t be done,” he said.
Clare is particularly excited about the proposed development of the Tourister building on the Warren River.
“We have a great opportunity with the Tourister building,” he said. “The developers hope to attract a host of shops and businesses. That will mean more jobs and revenue and more taxes for the town.”
“For every dollar spent in town,” he said. “fifty cents stays in town.”
Of course, at 10 hours a week, Clare said: “It’s not going to be done in a day.”