Westminster Appoints New Director of Community Development
The City of Westminster has confirmed the appointment of Chet Simmons to the post of Director of Community Development. Simmons, who also serves as the City’s Assistant City Manager, has been serving in an interim capacity since the summer of 2018.
The Community Development Department oversees the City’s private and public building partnerships and advanced planning and economic development efforts. In this new dual role, Simmons will continue to oversee operations throughout the City, while managing the City’s Planning, Building, Housing, and Economic Development divisions. These divisions have been tasked with implementing the City’s new development blueprint, recently adopted by the City Council.
“Ultimately, it is Chet’s ingenuity and ability to move drawing board ideas to real world successes that sets him apart,” said City Manager Eddie Manfro. “He has an innate ability to see opportunities and then strategically move the necessary pieces around the board to achieve the desired result. He has been a great asset to the City.”
Simmons is largely credited with initiating the City’s new development strategy that has resulted in some of the City’s recent successes, including the Bolsa Row development, which will bring a five-star 150 room boutique hotel and luxury condo complex to the City. Currently, Simmons is also heading the negotiations aimed at redeveloping the 104-acre Westminster Mall into a regional lifestyle/entertainment center.
“We are trying a number of new things in order to harness the community’s sentiment about the type of place they want their City to be,” stated Simmons. “We are all very excited about the results we are starting to see.” Simmons was quick to point out that the City’s recent revitalization successes are the result of a lot of team work and a philosophical alignment between the City and the community regarding moving the City forward.
“This is a great choice,” stated Mayor Tri Ta regarding Simmons’ appointment. “Chet is an innovator and has been instrumental moving the City forward. I am really excited to see what he and his team are able to accomplish next.” This sentiment was reiterated by Council Member Sergio Contreras who added, “He is someone who always looks to figure out a way to make the work happen. It’s his style. He is extremely resourceful and we are lucky to have him.”
Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gonzaga University, and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, International City Management Association, and the California City Management Foundation.
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