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Kathryn Lookofsky Resigns as Director of the Athens Downtown Development Authority

Her resignation takes effect on June 30, 2013.

 

Kathryn Lookofsky, who has been the director of the Athens Downtown Development Authority for almost seven years, offered her resignation to the ADDA Board of Directors on Tuesday. She will leave on June 30, when her current contract expires.

Laura Miller, the director of parking services for the ADDA, has also resigned. She could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Lookofsky's resignation came after a closed door meeting Tuesday morning, from which the public was excluded, to discuss personnel matters. The Georgia Open Meetings Act allows for such exemptions.

"I'm grateful to have served the community," said Lookofsky, who holds several degrees, including a Master's in public administration. "It was a pleasure and a privilege. I'm very high on downtown Athens and downtown businesses. I hope to stay in Athens."

Erica Cascio, chairman of the board of directors, couldn't be reached for comment. But she told Flagpole Magazine she couldn't discuss what happened in the meeting or the reasons for not extending Lookofsky's contract, saying "the rest of it was all privileged, personnel," Cascio said. "I can't discuss it."

The board that hired Lookofsky isn't the same one that accepted her resignation. Rusty Heery, who helped hire Lookofsky, said he was "sorry it didn't work out. I think this is a job she obviously would have loved to have kept."

After serving on the ADDA board for 10 years, Heery left the board more than a year ago and hasn't really paid attention to the ADDA matters, he said. "With all the new projects coming on line, I guess they felt they needed a new type of personality. These kind of positions have a lot of turnover and people do wear out their welcome."

Lookofsky leaves as downtown Athens is in the midst of the creation of a master plan for downtown development and as several mixed use projects could bring  more than 1,000 residential units to downtown.

 

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Jerry NeSmith December 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Kathryn has served us very well. Thank you, my friend!
Melissa Link December 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM
It is ridiculously counter-productive to can this enthusiastic booster of Athens' local businesses and creative culture in the middle of the Master Planning Process and as a massive development boom is getting underway. Lookofsky can take much credit that the long overdue master planning process is underway, much to the consternation of the pro-overdevelopment, anti-regulation "investors" and property owners who would gladly see downtown Athens bulldozed into a haven for homogenized corporate chains & apartment towers exactly like the now-Walmartless development Selig Enterprises plans for Oconee/East Broad. Much of downtown also was designated a local historic district under Lookofsky's watch, offering a great deal of protection from inappropriate development. The ADDA board is now made up of a primarily conservative lot and one can only wonder if Selig PR hack/Chamber of Commerce chair/ADDA board member Brian Broderick wasn't the head cheerleader for Lookofsky's removal to prop the doors wide open for a new director who is thoroughly in the pockets of Big Development.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Melissa, I agree that Kathryn has done some incredible things for Athens and downtown during her time with the ADDA. I had hoped she would be there to see the adoption of the master plan for downtown Athens, but that's apparently not going to happen...

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