With only a few months left in Mayor Kristen Brown’s administration, the Columbus Redevelopment Department is going without its director and the main contractor pushing the city’s projects through the system.
Heather Pope, the director of the redevelopment department, is on a leave of absence and our news-gathering partners at The Republic report today that contractor Doug Pacheco is leaving soon to take another job. Pope has been on leave since earlier this month. Mayor Kristen Brown and City Attorney Jeff Logston said that because of privacy laws they could not say how long the leave is for, or whether Pope is still getting paid. Logston, in an e-mail, said only that the city is “handling this matter consistently with our policies.”
The Republic reports that Pacheco gave his one-month notice, as required under his contract, on Sept. 8th.
The Redevelopment Department handles money that comes from the city’s tax increment financing districts and oversees the leases on city owned property downtown including The Commons and the Jackson Street Parking Garage. Pope and Pacheco have been working on several big projects for the city in the waning days of Brown’s administration. That includes the sale of city-owned properties at Walesboro, on Second Street by the county jail, and along the East Fork White River.