Chris Ryer, a former city planning official who went on to lead the Southeast Community Development corporation for 12 years, has been tapped by Mayor Catherine Pugh to serve as the city’s planning director.
In announcing Ryer’s appointment today, Pugh promised “a robust and comprehensive approach to the 21st century planning needs of our city – our neighborhoods, our public spaces and major corridors.”
The mayor praised Ryer, saying he “knows our city intimately and has established a long career working with community and neighborhood organizations and renewal efforts, in addition to working at the state level.”
Ryer, who worked for Baltimore as a community planner early in his career, also served as deputy planning director from 2002 to 2006.
After that he took a position with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s neighborhood revitalization division, providing technical assistance to grant recipients. Then from 2007 to the present, Ryer served as executive director of the Southeast CDC.
Ryer who replaces planning director Thomas J. Stosur who retired last October, starts work on February 11. Laurie Feinberg has been serving as acting planning director.
Filling Other Vacancies
A number of vacancies remain to be filled in Pugh’s administration, most prominently police commissioner.
Her recently announced choice of Michael Harrison is pending approval by the City Council.
The retiring New Orleans police chief, whose name has yet to be formally presented to the Council, will be scheduling visits to each of the city’s police districts soon.
Harrison is to start as acting commissioner on February 11, according to mayoral spokesman James E. Bentley II.
As first reported by The Brew, Pugh has also named management consultant Bruce Williams to serve as her third chief of staff since taking office two years ago.
Among other leadership positions still waiting permanent replacements are health commissioner and director of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice.