Joan Dunlap, the executive director of Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded Innovation Team, suddenly announced her resignation this afternoon.
The Innovation Team, or I-Team, was made possible by a $1.6 million grant and was focused on the eradication of blight.
“After conducting analysis on municipalities nationwide that had efficient enforcement systems, the team helped city staff rework city code enforcement processes that had been ineffective for decades,” Dunlap wrote in an email announcing the resignation. “This neglect had resulted in high concentrations of abandoned properties, decimating many neighborhoods that at one time had thrived.”
In a statement Friday, Stimpson said he appreciated the work Dunlap has done for the team.
City spokesman George Talbot said Jeff Carter would take over as I-Team executive director, effective immediately.
“Jeff has done an outstanding job as program manager for the I-Team and I am confident in his ability to lead our team going forward,” the statement read.”We are excited about the path ahead and grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their ongoing support of our efforts to transform Mobile.”
Dunlap’s team compiled an inventory of more than 1,200 of the most extreme cases of blight and thousands of empty lots throughout the city.
“As a result of the team’s work, Mobile, Alabama is believed to be the only mid-sized U.S. city with a comprehensive inventory of blighted residential structures,” she wrote. “This inventory, based on IPMC standards, is geo-located so that multiple departments can now be proactive to apply better resolution methods and work with owners to clear up title deficiencies that have crippled abandoned properties.
“The team has also been involved in aspects of design and planning, partnering with the city’s GIS systems to develop automated tools, contracting with Center for Community Progress to make legislative recommendations, working with MPD and neighborhood leadership, overseeing a collaborative effort with Auburn University to develop a technology that would marry job opportunity with the city bus system, partnering with many outside organizations on the neighborhood histories, and a host of other behind-the scenes-work. The team was beginning to embark on two new important initiatives for the city: transportation and tourism.
“I cannot say enough good things about the talent and dedication of this team,” she wrote. “They are (Carter), Dale Speetjens, Andrew Webber and Jayson D’Alessandro.”
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