Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr on Friday announced that Robert Briggs will be joining her executive staff as the new Planning and Development Director for the City of Cheyenne.
Briggs, who currently serves in the same capacity for the City of Sheridan, will join her team on September 1, 2017.
In this position, Briggs will be charged with implementing long range planning for growth, affordable housing, economic development, adequate infrastructure, and community appearance. The department is responsible for reviewing development applications for compliance with zoning and subdivision regulations, overseeing the preparation of long range planning documents, building department services including zoning code enforcement, as well as historic preservation.
Orr said she specifically sought out Briggs out because of his reputation for getting rid of red tape and moving economic development projects forward.
“Robert is a well-known entity across the state,” Orr said. “He did some remarkable things in making downtown Sheridan vibrant. Most importantly, streamlining the building and development process saving countless steps and considerable time.”
“This isn’t a business-as-usual appointment,” Orr said. “I campaigned on change and doing things differently. We have to if we are going to improve this community and be more self-sufficient. We can no longer cling-on to the State and hope they take care of us. We need to be self-sufficient.”
Orr said she was originally attracted to how the City of Sheridan set up its Planning and Development office — entwining economic development into the office.
“It makes so much sense that planning and development be looked through a lens with an eye on economic development,” she said. “And that to me, includes quality of life of issues. It’s how we grow in a sustainable manner.”
Orr said instead of trying to replicate what was done in Sheridan, she would go after the person responsible for the model.
“Best practices work to an extent,” Orr said. “I prefer, however, the best person. Robert knows what he’s doing. He’s done a fantastic job in Sheridan. Rather than to try to copy it, let’s have him lead the way down here.”
Orr said Briggs’ experience with economic development issues, development of code amendments and policy, and building permit and subdivision reviews of large/complex projects will provide needed leadership to the our current team of developers and planners.
“He’s proven, and his work has been nationally recognized,” she said noting that he was named “Planner of the Year” in a 14-state region for his work in Sheridan.
Jim Voeller currently serves as interim planning and development director. He will continue to serve as City Engineer under the planning and services department. Brigg’s appointment is subject to city council approval.