Planning head leaving for south Florida

ALBANY -- The director of Albany and Dougherty County's shared Planning and Zoning Department has taken a new job in south Florida, he confirmed Monday.

Howard Brown, who has headed the city-county department, tendered his resignation to City Manager Alfred Lott and to county officials Monday.

Brown has been hired as the community planning director for a city in south Florida, he said. The name of the city was not immediately revealed.

"It's been a bit emotional for me," he said from his office Monday as he was typing an e-mail to his subordinates. "The city and county have been a good home for me and my co-workers have been great to work with."

Brown helped lead the city's recent state-mandated recodification of its ordinances and vital documents, which was an exhaustive, multi-week ordeal involving commissioners and city staff reviewing the City Code of Ordinances line-by-line to ensure they were up-to-date.

He was also involved with a recent update of the city and county's flood maps, the development of a flood plain management ordinance and the implementation of an advanced GIS mapping program that allows the public access to certain public information through the city and county's website.

Brown was also at the center of a controversial sign ordinance which initially angered several local business owners before he and other city officials set up a sign ordinance task force -- which included local business owners -- to work out kinks in the measure.

Before submitting his letter, Brown had also co-chaired the Albany-Dougherty Complete Count Committee -- an organization created to promote and increase the county's participation in the 2010 census -- and was named as one of Albany and Dougherty County's 40-under-40 by The Albany Herald.

Originally from Pensacola, Fla., Brown came to the city from a job in Lilburn three years ago. He worked in southern Florida, as well as in the Panhandle, before moving to Georgia.

With his final day scheduled for June 28, Brown said that he has enjoyed working in Albany and possibly would like to come back if there were any upper-level management openings.

Although no interim director has officially been named, Mary Teeter, who served as the interim director before Brown was hired, will likely re-assume that role until a full-time replacement is found.