The City of Flint has announced that Brian Larkin has been chosen as Director of Planning and Development. City Administrator Natasha L. Henderson made the decision to hire Mr. Larkin with the approval of Mayor Dayne Walling. Mr. Larkin will begin work on Monday, November 9, 2015.
Mr. Larkin comes to City government from the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce where he serves as the Director of Core Initiatives. Previously he served as Associate Director of the Michigan Governor’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives in Flint. Mr. Larkin is a Flint native and current resident who graduated from Flint Northern High School. Mr. Larkin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College, a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University and is pursuing a Doctorate in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Michigan. “I’m really excited to have this opportunity and look forward to playing a pivotal role in driving Flint forward,” said Larkin.
“We are very excited to have Mr. Larkin join the Flint team,” said City Administrator Natasha Henderson. “His strong community ties and past educational and work experience make him the ideal candidate for this critical role.”
In addition to his employment with the FGCC, Larkin’s community involvement most recently extended to both the Receivership Transition Advisory Board appointed by Governor Rick Snyder and the Flint Charter Review Commission, an elected position. As an employee of the City of Flint, he will be required to resign both positions in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
“Mr. Larkin’s involvement and experience in this community and with the Master Plan give him the personal and professional credibility needed for a position that is so crucial to this City’s future,” said Mayor Dayne Walling.
The City of Flint has been seeking to fill the Director position since August of this year when it was vacated by Megan Hunter. The position is an appointed one and serves directly under the City Administrator. The Planning and Development department includes the Divisions of Building & Safety Inspections, Blight Elimination & Neighborhood Stabilization, Community & Economic Development, Zoning & Case Management, Planning, and Parks & Recreation.
In addition to exercising general supervision over professional, technical, and clerical positions within the department and its divisions, the Director is also responsible for the coordination and implementation of many of the Master Plan objectives. With a team of 24 full time and 2 part time employees, the department has been able to carry out 118 projects and strategies outlined in the Master Plan within the last year.
As stated in the posting, the Director of Planning & Development is responsible for ensuring the public safety, health, and well-being of Flint’s residents, businesses and visitors through targeted investment and rational, well-designed and physically integrated land use and development that advances economic prosperity, eliminates blight and stabilizes neighborhoods, protects the environment, and promotes a better quality of life in the City.