City Planning Manager Rob Chave named interim Director of Development Services

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Rob Chave

City of Edmonds Planning Manager Rob Chave has been named the city’s Interim Director of Development Services, subject to City Council confirmation.

“Rob Chave has the background and experience to fill this important position,” said  Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, who announced the appointment Wednesday afternoon.

Before coming to the City of Edmonds, where he has worked for 30 years, Chave was in charge of long-range planning for the City of Auburn from 1986 to 1991. He began his career in 1980 working for Volusia County, Florida, where he was a land use planner and chief of long-range planning and information systems.

Chave completed his undergraduate work at Northwestern University, majoring in geography and experimental social psychology. He did graduate studies in urban planning and historic preservation at Cornell University in upstate New York.
Chave lives in Seattle with his wife of 31 years.

12 COMMENTS

    • The position has been vacant since Duane Bowman left the city. I’m not sure the year that he left that I’m sure others know.

  1. Congratulations to Mr. Chave and thank you for your long, 30 year plus valued service to our City.

    Priya, the position has been vacant since Duane Bowman’s retirement in March of 2009. This is a very important position and I am very encouraged that the City is addressing the vacancy. Mr. Chave’s experience handling many complex issues should serve our City well.

    I wrote an article about City Officers and the City Code a little over a month ago. I concluded my article as follows:

    One specific area I am concerned about is the Development Services Director position that has been vacant since early 2009. This critical position administers the majority of the City’s Community Development Code (ECDC). In my opinion, the Code requires that the person(s) currently performing these very broad duties has been interviewed and confirmed by the City Council. The City must be able to represent to its citizens that these duties are being performed by a person with the highest qualifications.

    Department Directors are responsible for carrying out all directives as assigned by the Mayor, including, but not limited to, planning and directing the activities and staff in their assigned department, supervising and evaluating the work processes and assigned staff, controlling the financial integrity of the assigned budget, and insuring the delivery of quality public services. This is required per Ordinance 3279.

    I believe a Development Services Director needs to be interviewed, appointed and confirmed by the City Council. If not, the City’s Code should be updated to allow another “City Officer” to administer and enforce the provisions of the ECDC that the Development Services Director is responsible for. This may not be a practical alternative, however, as the position of Development Services Director is a full time position requiring the highest qualifications. I believe the City also needs to address the other vacant City Officer positions, including those of Administrative Services Director and Human Resources Director, as well as any other vacancies that may exist.

  2. It is an important position and Rob Chave seems to be well-qualified for it. My question is, assuming that Rob will be replaced as Planning Manager, where’s the funding coming from for the position of Director of Development Services since it has not been included in the 2012 budget? Perhaps Rob will do both jobs.

  3. Congratulations Rob!

    Positions like Development Services Director are some of the more unsung and under-appreciated positions within municipalities, but at the same time they provide the momentum and direction to private development sorely needed during ever-changing times. That the department has lasted so long without a named Director is because of the stellar work of the Planners within the department, as well as the work of Stephan Clifton, who piggybacked a second Director’s position on top of his own.

    But there’s only so far you can go with that, essentially operating off of the momentum provided by a previous Director now three years retired, before things start petering out and the forward motion starts getting wobbly. Naming Rob Chave to an interim Director’s position provides a much-needed second wind to Development Services, and to the City as a whole.

  4. It appears to me that the Mayor has made an excellent decision.

    I recently asked a simple but sensitive question to two city officials, including Rob. Mr. Chave, to his credit, answered fully and promtly, without deflection or hesitation, which I appreciate.

    This is also a victory for improved tansparency in city management.

    Ray Martin

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