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Council bids farewell to Planning Director

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

During a brief City Council session on Tuesday, a proclamation was read in honor of Planning Director Robert Duffy’s years of service as a city employee after he announced two weeks ago he would be leaving to pursue a career with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

“Under Bob Duffy’s leadership, the Planning Department has achieved its important mission and priorities established by City Council, the Planning Commission and the City Manager,” the proclamation stated, as read by Mayor Mick Denham. It also recognized Duffy “for the highly professional leadership and exceptional planning expertise he has provided the City of Sanibel.”

Duffy joined the city staff as Planning Director in November 2005. During his tenure, he helped with the completion of several key projects including the 2007 update of the Sanibel Plan, comprehensive amendments to the Land Development Code’s Commercial Zoning regulations and completion of the final draft of the 2009 Shared Use Path Master Plan. He and his wife, Adele, were on hand for the reading of the proclamation. His last day at work with the city is on March 16.

“You’ve been a great servant to the city, Bob, and I thank you for everything you’ve done,” said Denham.

In accepting his copy of the proclamation to a standing ovation from everyone in attendance at MacKenzie Hall, Duffy offered his own words of appreciation.

“It’s been my good fortune over the last few years to work with all of you, he said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to have worked for the city for the past three years.”

Adele Duffy also took time to thank the three organizations – F.I.S.H., the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village and the Sanibel Dog Club – which she volunteered and worked with.

“I wish you much health, continued happiness and the best of luck,” councilman Jim Jennings added.

The city, which has yet to name a permanent replacement for Duffy, has appointed City Planner James C. Jordan to serve as Acting Planning Director effective March 17.

Denham then read another proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which he presented to Yvonne Hill of the Cultural Heritage Center of the Islands. Lee County NAACP officials were unavailable to attend Tuesday’s session.

During council reports, Peter Pappas condemned the calling of last week’s special meeting on Feb. 25 which addressed charges in a Committee Of The Islands advertisement that the city was in financial crisis.

“We had an obligation here not to misrepresent, and in fact we did,” said Pappas, who requested that the city begin budget planning with three-year projections and estimates. He asked for city staff and members of the public to work in cooperation on the task, which he hoped would be in place prior to the start of the 2009-10 budget meetings in September.

In other business, City Manager Judie Zimomra noted that during the next council meeting on March 17, the oath of office for the three elected council members would be conducted along with the election of Mayor and Vice Mayor.

Also at that same session, a status report for the “Ding” Darling alternative transportation study will be delivered by project officials. Two additional workshops associated with the project have been scheduled for Thursday, April 2 and Thursday, April 16 from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House.