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David Knight to leave city job for Butler Rosenbury

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

David Knight, economic development coordinator for the city of Springfield, will resign from his position March 27 to take a job with Butler, Rosenbury & Partners.

"It's going to be a big loss for us," said City Manager Tom Finnie.

Knight will develop a planning department for Butler Rosenbury, said partner and architect Tim Rosenbury.

"For a long time, Geoff (Butler) has been doing some zoning consulting and some planning work, but with the addition of David and his expertise, we're going to be able to establish a bona fide planning department," Rosenbury said.

Rosenbury described Knight as "results-oriented," and added that planning is going to be an important consideration for Springfield as it grows.

"It seems to us that Springfield needs to be well-planned. You see these issues with zoning where it's no longer just a person deciding to get something rezoned, but there's a whole discussion about the neighborhood and how it will develop," Rosenbury said.

Knight said his decision to leave the city came because it was time to move on.

"I looked at what I was asked to do when they brought me in from Phoenix, and I feel as though we've accomplished many of those things," Knight said.

Knight has been involved in building investor confidence in the center city area, developing a stronger relationship between the city and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and getting new development into the city.

He was closely involved with projects such as the location of First Card in Springfield and the development of a healthier tourist market for the area, Finnie said.

"(Knight) has been very energetic and has contributed to the downtown effort with the creation of the Urban Districts Alliance and the Springfield Finance

and Development Corp. He has been responsible for a lot of what's happened

in the city in the past four years," Finnie said.

Knight is the third person to hold the economic development coordinator position. He came to Springfield from Phoenix, Ariz., where he worked in development and economic development.

Fred May, director of Planning and Development for the city of Springfield, said the position would probably be empty for about three or four months while the city searches for a new economic development coordinator. Knight will leave his current position March 27 and begin his new one April 1.

"We're doing all the things you usually do when someone vacates a position. We're looking at the position and trying to determine whether it needs to be refocused in any way," May said.

The city will begin advertising the position on a national basis once Knight leaves, May said.

The position has been around since the early 1980s, May added.

Knight, whom Finnie described as having the "energy of six people," will be missed by the Planning and Development Department, May said.

"He had undying enthusiasm for this job. It was that enthusiasm and leadership that directed many of the city's best efforts," May said.

Knight said that although he has enjoyed his time at the city, he is eager to get into the private sector. His job at the city allowed him to be "an advocate for the private sector," he said.

"I've tried to position myself to be an advocate for the private sector. Although I will have a lot to learn, I have always been on the side of the private sector," Knight said.

The creation of the new position at Butler, Rosenbury & Partners is an indication of that firm's growth, Knight said.

"They are a hot firm right now, and this addition shows that they are expanding into new markets and new service areas," Knight said.

Knight, 34, received a degree in urban planning and design from Arizona State University in 1986. He said he is pleased to be staying in Springfield because of the quality of life it provides him and his family.

INSET CAPTION:

'I looked at what I was asked to do when they brought me in from Phoenix, and I feel as though we've accomplished many of those things.'

David Knight[[In-content Ad]]

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