Crestwood economic development director resigns

City administrator wants to redefine position

By BURKE WASSON

Crestwood aldermen voted 4-3 last week in closed session to accept the resignation of Economic and Community Development Manager Tryla Brown and approve the payment of five weeks’ additional compensation.

City Administrator Frank Myers confirmed Monday that aldermen still will have another vote on the city’s agreement with Brown, who was hired in June.

“Once the board takes a vote on the agreement itself, which they have not done yet, the city will provide a full statement,” Myers said. “And I fully expect because we are going to be reviewing the economic-development budget Tuesday night (Oct. 30) that there will probably be some discussion on that position.”

City officials said Brown had been on “personal leave” for the past several weeks.

Ward 1 Alderman Mac McGee, Ward 1 Alderman Richard Bland, Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel and Ward 4 Alderman John Foote voted Oct. 23 to accept Brown’s resignation. Board President Gregg Roby of Ward 3, Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel and Ward 4 Alderman Steve Nieder were opposed. Ward 2 Alderman Steve Knarr was excused from the meeting.

Myers said he will recommend a redefinition of the economic and community development manager position for the Board of Aldermen’s review.

“The city’s intention is to do something very different with that job,” Myers said. “And obviously, the mayor and Board of Aldermen are reviewing the position. And that will be discussed during the budget meetings … The administration’s going to be recommending a complete restructuring of those duties to save the city a substantial amount of money. That has to be considered by the board.”

Myers declined to say at this point how much money will be saved from the vacancy in that position.

Until Brown was hired in June, the economic-development position had been vacant since January, when former Economic Development Specialist Ellen Dailey resigned to accept a new position as Brentwood assistant city administrator and director of planning and development.

Brown previously held the position of assistant director of economic development in O’Fallon.

Ward 1 Alderman Richard Bland said now that aldermen have voted to accept Brown’s resignation, he, like Myers, is in favor of retaining the position.

“I know it’s been vacant for some time,” Bland said. “But if we are going to fill it, then it is going to best serve the citizens and the staff so that we can keep it a meaningful, useful position that is going to work towards developing and working with existing businesses and trying to bring new businesses in.”