2017-07-13 / Business News

Collier selects new growth management director

The Collier County Board of County Commissioners has hired a former secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, Thaddeus Cohen, as the director of the Growth Management Department.

“His extensive local government experience, leadership skills and education make him an ideal candidate for this position,” said Collier County Manager Leo Ochs. “I will rely on Thaddeus to lead our agency’s efforts to develop and implement coordinated planning, regulation, construction and maintenance programs that will enhance the county’s effectiveness and accountability.”

Under the county manager’s direction, Mr. Cohen will oversee a department that has 10 operating divisions with an annual operating budget of more than $119 million and a full-time workforce of more than 490 employees. He will be charged with effectively managing the county’s assets, making the operations more efficient and delivering superior customer service.

Mr. Cohen has an extensive background in urban planning, community development, infrastructure design and construction management. Most recently, he served as the planning director and the community redevelopment agency director for the city of Key West. Prior to that, he was assistant city manager and Community Redevelopment Agency director for the city of Pensacola. From 2004 to 2007, he served as the secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs. In addition, he had his own architecture firm for 20 years.

Mr. Cohen’s relationship with Key West City Manager Jim Scholl was reportedly strained and the two agreed in March that Mr. Cohen would end his employment with the city.

A graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor of architecture degree, Mr. Cohen has served as chair of the Florida Community Trust, chair of the Council for Black Economic Broward County, chair of the Palm Beach County Affordable Housing Commission, and as a board member for 1000 Friends of Florida, Florida Housing Finance Corp. and Florida’s Broward Alliance.

His annual salary will be $145,000. ¦

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