JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Jackson’s outgoing director of Planning and Development is receiving high marks from Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
WLBT confirmed that Director Chloe Dotson had turned in her resignation to take another job. She is expected to stay with the city at least until mid-March to help with the transition, the mayor said during his Monday media briefing.
Lumumba said he’s sad that Dotson is leaving, but is happy for her to have a new opportunity.
“That’s the way it should go. When you’re an administration looking for talented people who give of themselves, what happens is people take notice of their talents, and people offer them opportunities,” he said. “We never want to stand in the way of someone’s opportunity.”
Lumumba would not say where Dotson was going, saying it would be left up to her and the institution to make that announcement.
He said Dotson told him she did not apply for the job, and that the agency reached out to her.
“When she first came to Jackson, she applied for a job with the city of Jackson and this community partner. She did not receive the job with the community partner,” he said. “Her efforts in the city of Jackson raised the profile of her work and her ability, that she became a valuable asset they thought would be helpful to their efforts.”
Dotson took over planning in November 2022, replacing former Director Jordan Hillman. Since then, she has helped with several major projects, including the demolition of the Casa Grande Apartments in South Jackson, and the demolition of the Briarwood One Building in Northeast Jackson.
She also has worked with community partners, like the Jackson Resource Center, to transform a former nursing home into a facility that provides housing and other resources to the city’s homeless.
More recently, Dotson has also pushed efforts to redevelop the property across from the Jackson Convention Complex, and to build a 60-unit housing development for the homeless on Capers Avenue.
The project, which would be built where an abandoned state facility is located today, has sparked debate among some residents who don’t want to see the facility in their community.
“She’s taken on some very difficult challenges and we’ve stood behind her,” Lumumba said, referring to the tiny house project.
“Everybody agrees something needs to be done for the unhoused. Everybody sees it’s something we have to address from the humanitarian standpoint,” he said. “But when it comes to where that transitional housing goes, no one agrees it should go in their community.”
Dotson is one of three department heads to step down in recent months.
Catoria Martin’s last day as city attorney was on January 12. The council is expected to confirm Drew Martin as the next city attorney at its meeting on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Chief Administrative Officer Louis Wright is serving as acting Public Works director, after the mayor’s previous director, Khalid Woods, resigned in June and again in September.
Lumumba said he had not chosen a replacement for Dotson and would be working with the outgoing director to name her replacement.
The mayor says the search for a new public works director is ongoing, and work in the department continues.
“Nothing has stopped that fact,” he said. “You will see an abundance of work taking place as soon as the temperature warms up.”
Dotson declined to comment for this story.
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