Del Smith, head of the city's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and a very public face of Mayor Lovely Warren's administration, is stepping down, according to multiple sources.
According to the city's website, Smith oversees the city's housing and economic development programs, planning and zoning activities, and building and property code enforcement efforts. Smith is also the force behind the city's Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives.
Smith would be the second high-profile departure from Mayor Lovely Warren's team. Christine Christopher stepped down as communications chief late last year.
No word yet on a replacement for Smith.
Update: February 13, 11:30 a.m.
The City of Rochester has issued the following press release:
Mayor Warren Announces Leadership Change in Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
(Friday, Feb. 13, 2014) - Mayor Lovely A. Warren today announced changes in leadership in the City's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD).
NBD Commissioner Delmonize "Del" Smith will be leaving City Hall later this month to take a position in academia. His new job will allow him to be closer to his family. Mayor Warren has asked current Deputy Commissioner Kathleen Washington to lead NBD on an interim basis.
In her current role, Deputy Commissioner Washington leads the senior management team in this important department. She holds an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester.
"Kate Washington is a proven leader in NBD and I have the highest confidence in her ability to lead this important City department during this transition," said Mayor Warren. "NBD has always operated as a team and I know under Kate's guidance that team will continue to effectively work for more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better schools for our city.
"I am grateful for Del Smith's service as Commissioner of NBD," Mayor Warren continued. "As a parent, I fully understand the importance of being closer to family. I respect Del's decision to accept an opportunity that allows him to follow his passion in academia while also being closer to his family. I wish him the best as he embarks on this new endeavor."
Mayor Warren has been holding conversations with potential candidates for the position of NBD Commissioner. She expects to make an announcement within the coming weeks. The appointment will require City Council confirmation.