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Greenville hires new community development director


Thomas Barnett


The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The city of Greenville’s new community development director is a national award-winning revitalization expert who worked with a local artist to rejuvenate a Kentucky town, according to a city news release.

Greenville City Manager Ann Wall announced this week that Thomas Barnett will join the city’s staff on Aug. 1, heading the department that houses planning and zoning, inspections, code enforcement, housing, and historic preservation.

Barnett brings 23 years of experience in both metropolitan and county settings.

"It is with great pleasure and anticipation that I look forward to joining the city's management team," Barnett said. “Greenville is a fine growing city and I look forward to being part of that bright future working with our elected officials, city staff, and perhaps most importantly, the citizens of Greenville.” 

He will earn $118,500 a year in Greenville.

"Thomas has spent time in numerous communities, and he will bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to Greenville that will surely be beneficial as we continue to grow,” Wall said.

Barnett joins the city after serving nearly two years as director of development services for the City of Hollywood, Fla. In that position, he oversaw six divisions and approximately 130 employees.

Barnett also previously held positions as the director of community planning and building in Calvert County, Md., executive director of metropolitan development in Evansville, Ind., and director of planning in Paducah, Ky.

It was in Paducah that Barnett worked with Mark Barone in the early 2000s to revitalize a decaying neighborhood through The Paducah Artist Relocation Program which offered inexpensive homes and studio space to artists.

He also was the principal author of the Lower Town Neighborhood Plan in Paducah, a 2004 National APA Outstanding Planning Award winner for Best Community Initiative and 2005 winner of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.

“Tom comes to us as a well-rounded candidate with lots of experience and skills that we think will translate nicely to Greenville,” Wall said. “I don’t think it was any one thing, it was the fact that he was a truly well-rounded candidate.”

Barnett’s first task will be learning about and understanding the community, and gaining insight on the goals and objectives of the Greenville City Council, Wall said.

Learning the city’s Horizons 2026 development plan will be at the top on his agenda.

The plan’s framework includes goals such as creating mixed-use centers, neighborhoods, corridors and employment districts that build on the city’s current land use patterns; enhancing transportation networks; supporting business development and entrepreneurism and protecting natural resources and managing hazards.

“That will be an important task for him to come in and understand that plan, the components of that plan and the items we need to implement, the items we need to work on and how the plan will shape our procedures and policies,” Wall said.

Barnett holds a masters of public administration from Murray State University and undergraduate degrees in English and economics from the University of Texas.