City of Montgomery's Development Director leaving for new job in - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

City of Montgomery's Development Director leaving for new job in Huntsville

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Chad Emerson looks over Montgomery development projects yet to be completed. Chad Emerson looks over Montgomery development projects yet to be completed.
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The City of Montgomery is losing two top officials in one month. Development Director Chad Emerson is leaving for a job in Huntsville.

This, just after Montgomery Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes announced he's leaving for a job in Vestavia Hills near Birmingham.

Emerson regrets he won't be around to see many more Montgomery projects finished.

"It's bittersweet. Going to a great opportunity, but leaving a really wonderful opportunity here, too."

Emerson will soon be the CEO of Huntsville Downtown, Inc. It's a private company with one goal--revitalizing the heart of Huntsville.

"To help grow the worker base, grow the residential base and then grow the retail base in the Rocket City," says Emerson.

Emerson joins Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes. They're two top Montgomery city employees leaving in July.

"Both of those have been a great asset to the city," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

Strange says the wheels are turning when it comes to the future of both positions.

"We're actively searching for a replacement for Chad's position. We'll probably expand the capacity of that organization a bit" to include economic development efforts in all areas of Montgomery, not just downtown.

"We're not gonna rush. We're gonna wait to find the right person and if it takes us a little longer to find the right person, so be it," adds Strange.

"I'm really confident that whoever the Mayor replaces myself with and Jeff with is gonna bring great knowledge and assets to the city.  Several years ago you'd wonder, but now I think this thing's in good shape regardless of who's sitting in these seats," adds Emerson.

The Mayor says he has already started working to find someone to fill Emerson's shoes.

He says Jeff Downes' duties have been divided up among others within the city of Montgomery and he plans to dissolve that specific role, hopefully saving the city money.

Downes leaves the city the first week of July. Chad Emerson's last day is July 20th.

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