Crestwood economic development specialist accepts post in Brentwood

By BURKE WASSON

While the city of Crestwood is close to hiring a new city clerk, its administration now will have to find an economic and community-development manager to replace outgoing Economic Development Specialist Ellen Dailey.

Dailey has accepted a post in Brentwood as director of planning and development and the city’s assistant city administrator.

City Administrator Frank Myers confirmed last week that Dailey submitted her resignation, effective Jan. 17.

Dailey said while she will miss working with staff and residents in Crestwood, she is looking forward to new professional opportunities in Brentwood.

“It’s an opportunity I’d looked into about a year ago,” Dailey said. “And it became available again, and they just contacted me a couple weeks ago. So I guess it doesn’t matter other than the fact that I wasn’t looking to jump ship. They came to me, and it’s just a really good opportunity for me professionally.

“I’m excited about going there. They have a lot of great things happening, but they also have their own challenges with the (Highway) 40 closure coming up ahead and three years of 40 and (Interstate) 170 being closed.”

Myers said Dailey will be missed and that the administration’s goal is to hire a replacement within the next three months.

“I have nothing but the highest praise for Ellen Dailey,” Myers said. “I think a lot of people didn’t fully understand all the things that she was involved with and did on behalf of the city. It’s a tremendous loss for us. And there’s some very big shoes to fill over the next three months.”

The city also has whittled prospective candidates to replace outgoing City Clerk Kimberly Cottle, who will end her Crestwood tenure this week, down to two people. Both remaining candidates are from outside Crestwood and were chosen after city officials interviewed five potential hires on Dec. 18, according to Myers.

Myers indicated that a final decision on a new city clerk could come as early as this week.

As for Dailey’s soon-to-be-vacant position, Myers said the city would like to hire someone at a salary ranging from $53,000 to $62,000. Dailey was budgeted to earn $64,400 in 2007.

In the interim period between Dailey’s departure and a new hire, Myers said he would take on many of the city’s economic-development roles.

Dailey said she has enhanced her professional career in Crestwood and is optimistic that the city will continue to see improvement that she and city staff members have initiated.

“I’ve learned so much and had such great work experience here,” Dailey said. “Professionally, it’s been a really great place to be. There’s so many exciting things happening. And I know that Crestwood is going to continue to improve because of all those things that are under way. And maybe after I’m gone — not that I need any credit — they’ll know that I was telling them the truth and things are going to continue to improve and they will. But it’s a really great community. And the people I work with are fabulous, and I’ll really miss them a lot. We’re kind of like family here.

“The community will overcome. It almost can’t help itself because it’s got a great location, we’ve got great demographics being on (Interstate) 44. Worst-case scenario, Crestwood will improve despite itself or in spite of itself.

“But they’ve got a lot of really positives. The Char Brauns and Carol Wagners and the mayor and the people in the community and the staff that are working hard and will continue to do so.”