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City's Neighborhoods Director Stepping Down

By Erica C. Barnett January 7, 2011

Stella Chao, head of the city's neighborhoods department, is stepping down effective January 31, she told city staffers in an email today.

"I write to you this morning to let you know that after four years as your Director, and after conversations with the Mayor, we have agreed that I will not seek reappointment to another term.  With my appointment officially coming to an end, the timing was right to leave my position.  The time has flown by quickly, and it has truly been a privilege to serve the community in this post and to work with a staff so dedicated to the community. ...

"I leave with sadness, because of you and the many things we do to make this city strong.  But I also look forward to the future."

McGinn's spokesman Aaron Pickus wouldn't say whether Chao's departure was related to her performance. "The mayor and Stella met and they agreed that they would not be forwarding her name to the city council for reconfirmation," Pickus said.

Chao is one of several department heads to leave the city in the year since McGinn took office, following fleets and facilities director Brenda Bauer, transportation director Grace Crunican, finance director Dwight Dively, housing director Adrienne Quinn, Quinn's interim replacement Bill Rumpf, parks director Tim Gallagher, human services director Alan Painter, personnel director Mark McDermott, and sustainability office director Mike Mann.

"Until the Mayor's Office makes an announcements of their long term plans, Kimberlee Archie, Deputy Director, will step up as the Acting Director, as she has always backed me up during my absences," Chao's email says.

Pickus says the mayor's office will do a nationwide search for Chao's replacement.
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