The city announced in a consent agenda item that current Community Development Director Ashley Feeney has accepted a new position and will be leaving employment with the City of Davis on April 13, 2018.
Given that the city does not “have any employee available to serve in the capacity of a Community Development Director, a key position within the City that cannot go vacant,” the city is appointing Heidi Tschudin as Interim Community Development Director.
City Manager Mike Webb told the Vanguard, “Ash has been a tremendous asset to our team during his tenure. His public and private sector background in land use combined with his strong people skills, approachability, and team building mentality made Ash a great fit for the City organization. Ash’s leadership was pivotal in shepherding the development of our local cannabis regulations, helping to guide the Downtown Plan update, and in the review of multiple complex development proposals.”
He added, “It has been a privilege working with Ash and I wish him the very best in his next endeavors.”
While Ms. Tschudin will fill the position on an interim basis, the city is moving forward with assessing options for how best to fill the Community Development Director role on a permanent basis.
Mr. Webb told the Vanguard, “[W]e will be undertaking a recruitment effort. It may take anywhere from a few to several months to fill this role and I want to ensure we take the time, however long or short that may be, to do it right. “
Heidi Tschudin should be a familiar name and face, as she was hired as a consultant to help with the planning of the innovation park concepts. She also was a consultant working with Yolo County on their most recent general plan.
According to Mr. Webb, “Heidi comes to us with nearly 40 years of experience in the community development field, she has multiple professional accolades, and is experienced in all aspects of land use planning and project and team management, with much of that experience in the City of Davis and Yolo County.”
He said, “While we are certainly saddened by the news of Ash’s departure, having Heidi come on board will provide a sense of continuity, a familiar face, and direct experience with and understanding of the Davis community, our processes, and our organization.”
Mr. Webb indicated that Ms. Tschudin will come on board in the interim role starting on April 16, subject to City Council ratification on April 10.
—David M. Greenwald reporting