Hodges decides to look for new CPED director, city coordinator

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February 3, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Mayor Betsy Hodges has announced she will be searching for a new City Coordinator and director of the city's Community Planning & Economic Development department (CPED).

Those roles are currently held by Paul Aasen and Jeremy Hanson Willis, respectively.

Hodges thanked Aasen and Hanson Willis in statement released this morning. "Paul has done great work keeping the City running well, building strong relationships with department heads and helping us keep our eye on big-picture issues. Jeremy has done great work in stabilizing and reorganizing the department — the department is stronger today because of Jeremy. I appreciate the service both of them have given to our city," she said. “These department heads are critically important positions — my goal is to hire leaders who will help steer the work of CPED and the entire City enterprise toward my goals of growing the city, continuing to run it well and eliminating disparities between white people and people of color.”

Hanson Willis has been CPED director since April 2012. Before that he served as former Mayor R.T. Rybak's chief of staff and communications director. In a Facebook past, he wrote: "My time as CPED director is coming to an end. I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served and am proud of all we accomplished. After 8 thrilling years in the Rybak administration, I'm excited for what's next."

Aasen has been the City Coordinator since May 2012. The City Coordinator serves as an advisor to  the mayor and City Council on strategic planning, budget development and policy issues.

Hodges has decided to keep six city department heads on board, including Assessor Patrick Todd, City Attorney Susan Segal, Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel, Fire Chief John Fruetel, Health Department Commissioner Gretchen Musicant and Public Works Director Steve Kotke.

She will formally nominate the six incumbents at the Council's Executive Committee later this month. Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Regulatory Services Director Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde's posts are not up for consideration at this time.

All of the 10 department heads will be up for reappointment consideration in two years.