COOKEVILLE – City Manager James Mills announced today that Jon Ward has been appointed as the first Director of the recently created Department of Community Development. The new department combines the Department of Planning and the Department of Codes. These two departments will now be divisions, along with Economic Development, within the Department of Community Development. Mills indicated that the combination of these functions will create a more effective and efficient department.
Mr. Ward previously served as the director of the planning department, having been appointed to that position in 2019. He began his employment with the city in 2016 as assistant planning director. Prior to his employment with the city, Ward worked as a business development consultant with Tennessee Department of Economic and
Community Development, as the planning director of the Highlands Planning Department, and as planner for the State Local Planning Assistance Office.
In making the announcement, Mills said, “Jon is very capable of the duties of the new department and certainly possesses the planning and economic development skills.”
Ward is enthusiastic as the departments combine to begin to offer services more efficiently and said, “l appreciate the City Manager’s vision to streamline the functions and services of the Planning, Codes and Economic
Development arms of the city. By doing so the divisions of the Department of Community Development will be able to work closely together to continue to provide excellent service to assist our residents and businesses in a more expeditious manner. l am excited to take on this new role.”
Ward is a native of Spencer. He is a TTU graduate with a BS in Political Science and is an AICP Certified Planner. He and his wife Heather are parents to two children, Kileigh and Evan.