UPDATED: 4:30 p.m., August 5, 2011
Harmit Bedi, Snellville's planning director since 2008, has resigned from his position effective immediately.
City Manager Russell Treadway confirmed the resignation Friday, August 5. No reason for Bedi's departure was given.
"We have very capable and dedicated employees in the planning department, and they will continue to provide exceptional service," Treadway said.
Bedi, who made about $70,000 a year, had been with the city for the past three years after being hired following a three-month search. Before Snellville, Bedi worked with the city of Sandy Springs in the community development department.
Bedi, who holds a master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, had helped Snellville increase its planning and development efforts in the city. In his tenure, there have been a number of projects, including the new city police department, that have been completed or started.
Treadway said Friday that there is no immediate timeline for replacing Bedi. Jon Davis, former vice president of planning firm Jordan Jones & Goulding (JJG), has been named the interim director. JJG, recently acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group, completed the city's comprehensive plan, town center overlay plans and the original town center study.
"I am saddened by the departure of Snellville's Planning Director, Harmit Bedi," Councilwoman Kelly Kautz said. "Mr. Bedi's hard work has attracted businesses such as McDonald's, Sports Academy, Olive Garden, and Verizon Wireless to Snellville.
"I truly believe that his departure at the beginning of this election season was driven by the actions of my fellow council members and the fact that Mr. Bedi was not a member of their "clique."
"I find it questionable that Mr. Bedi's replacement was a member of the Town Center consulting team."
Although Davis did play a part of some town center plans, Treadway said that he was not part of the final master plan recently completed by Clark Patterson Lee.
In spite of the changes, Treadway said that the city will continue moving forward with planning development.
"This will also give us a chance to reassess (our) processes and procedures as we move forward with the development/re-development in our Towne Center," he said. "We will also take a fresh look at our zoning ordinance and development regulations to make sure they are workable in today’s economic environment."