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Lansing’s economic planning and development to see new leadership

Flickr - MI SHPO

The City of Lansing is choosing a new leader for its Department of Economic Development and Planning, the division responsible for addressing red-tagged housing in the city.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor has announced Jordan Hankwitz will serve as the director of the department. Hankwitz previously directed the Michigan Senate Business Office.

Nicholas Montry, a supervisor in Lansing's Public Service Department, will serve as deputy director.

In a press release, Schor said he's confident in their ability to oversee city planning and development.

"Jordan Hankwitz brings years of high level management experience dealing with complex issues, personnel, and budgets in a fast-paced government setting," Schor said. His work managing the operations, finance and staff in the state senate will be invaluable in running a large city department...The management skills that these two bring to the table will be incredible for the future of this important city department.”

The development follows interim director Barbara Kimmel turning down a permanent offer to lead the department.

Kimmel was tapped to lead the department in February afterprevious director Brian McGrain left to lead a non-profit advocacy organization. The department oversees several functions in the city, including parking enforcement, building safety and housing code compliance.

Kimmel has faced scrutiny from residents and the Lansing City Council in the last few weeks over concern about red-tagged housing in the city. There are over 700 red-tagged housing units in Lansing.

Kimmel is returning to her previous role as a development manager.

Scott Bean, a spokesperson for Schor, says the mayor is thankful for Kimmel's work leading the department and that he “fully supports her decision not to take the job full time."

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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