Finding A Suzable Replacement
Her department is small, just herself and three others, and only drew $245,000 this fiscal year from the city's $119 million general fund budget.
"She graduated from business advocate after demonstrating her prowess in matters of economic development to the position of economic development director. She is very talented, and she has done more than anyone else has in recent memory in our organization to enhance economic development in our city," said Kimball.
"She has been fundamentally important to this city and its economic development goals."
Renaissance Zones, brownfields, industrial tax abatements and other incentives are integral parts of
"One option is to contract work out to the likes of a
Kimball said he would explore all the alternatives available to him. And he
reminded the Business Journal that the city contracted out the environmental services director position in 1994 to Earth Tech, an arrangement that is still in effect, so a precedent to do that does exist.
"I haven't made a conclusion on that. I do think that it's a full-time job, and I do think it's an important enough job to have someone who will have great loyalty to the city of
Kimball said Daniel Oegema would be a logical choice to direct the department on an interim basis. Oegema, an economic development coordinator, handles many of the tax abatement requests from manufacturers looking to expand operations. Kimball also said Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong, who represents the city in many development deals, would also be an excellent candidate — if an acting director is named.
"I haven't concluded whether or not there is a compelling need for an interim person. I'll be deciding that when
"When the job came open, it seemed like the right thing to do right now," she said.
"To see those buildings come alive again and be reutilized, and then stimulate all kinds of other economic development, I think has been something that I'm very proud of," she said.
Her biggest disappointment?
"I think we still struggle with downtown retail and I'm really disappointed about the bookstore (River Bank Books & Music) closing," she said.
Believe it or not,
"I made a New Year's resolution last year that I just wanted, at this stage in my life, one more professional adventure, and that's what got me going. None of my children live here so that has opened up the door, as well," she said.
"It's not that I'm leaving because I don't love what I do. I do, and that makes it hard. I just wanted one more chance to get out of my comfort zone, and that was my New Year's resolution."