JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — With growth booming in Johnson City, the city’s development services director is leaving his job.
Preston Mitchell, who took the Johnson City post in November 2018, began a three-month paid administrative leave June 10. His last official day as a city employee is Sept. 30.
City Manager Cathy Ball said the parting was “a mutual decision” that was reached June 10.
Development Services oversees the city’s building codes, code enforcement and planning departments, about 15 employees in all. Plans and permits for building projects flow through development services and projects have been trending upward steadily for the past several years as Johnson City has seen its population grow.
Dave McClelland, the city’s development services manager, was named interim director and has been acting in that role since Tuesday.
City Commissioner John Hunter told News Channel 11 the city’s elected leadership would continue focusing on addressing Johnson City’s growth through development services staff. Hunter said elected leaders plan to invest in growth management to best navigate “an influx of new residents that we happily welcome.”
Mitchell has been in the middle of numerous residential and commercial growth projects since coming to Johnson City from a 14-year stint as Salisbury, N.C.’s development and code services manager.
“Our community has embarked on a period of tremendous growth during his tenure, and we appreciate his three-plus years of service,” Ball said in a statement.
Hunter said development services will help carry forward commissioners’ desire to preserve Johnson City’s longstanding quality of life, which he said “needs to be done through careful planning.
“The planning department as a whole is key to this pursuit as we identify ways to handle the growth patterns and ways that development occurs.”
Hunter said those goals are prioritized in the city’s just-passed fiscal 2023 budget, which invests in a growth study plan and additional staff that will fall under development services.
City officials did not provide any details on Mitchell’s reason for leaving his job.