City names new planning commissioner

His name's James Shelby. He previously served as deputy commissioner and acting commissioner. According to the City of Atlanta, Shelby...

... was appointed by Mayor Franklin to provide leadership for the Department of over 200 employees which is comprised of the Bureaus of Buildings, Code Compliance, Housing and Planning. Prior to joining the Department in 2004, Mr. Shelby served as Planning Director for the City of Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Shelby's got a big job ahead of him. Although former Commissioner Steve Cover has, by nearly all accounts, left the department in good shape for his successor, Shelby's taking the reins at a time when the city's still dealing with a foreclosure crisis and its accompanying code-enforcement problems. City Councilmembers recently targeted its bureau of buildings for an audit. And the arborists' office is still reeling from allegations it fired Tom Coffin, its most dedicated of treehuggers, to appease disgruntled developers. (An internal investigation concluded the arborist wasn't a team player.)

Regardless, welcome to the job, Commissioner Shelby!

(Many apologies for the terrible photo. The city doesn't give you too many options when it comes to photos of employees.)

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