City Councilman Frank Jerome said Friday that he was shocked by news that Mary Ferdon, Columbus’ community development director, would be leaving her job in the administration of Mayor Kristen Brown at month’s end.
“She was a real asset. I hate to see her go,” Jerome said. “I thought she was the perfect choice and doing yeoman service. I haven’t talked to her. I am at a loss.”
When interviewed Thursday, Ferdon would not say whether her departure from the city was voluntary or whether she was being dismissed by the mayor. Later in the day, Brown emailed The Republic, indicating that no resignation letter from Ferdon existed.
Described by the first-year mayor as “a right hand to me,” Ferdon is the second city department head within the Brown administration to leave during its first year. Fire Chief Joel Thacker resigned in September after about four months on the job.
Ferdon’s appointment was announced March 1, selected by Brown to lead an office charged with improving neighborhoods and promoting efforts of various community groups to strengthen Columbus.
Brown said Ferdon’s replacement would be asked to focus exclusively on community development.
“The first priority of the job is to partner with several other community organizations to solve our community’s housing problems,” Brown said in a Thursday email.
Brown welcomed interested and qualified individuals to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.