Astoria Community Development Director Kevin Cronin is leaving his job in October.
City Manager Brett Estes said Cronin, who was hired in 2015, wanted to pursue other opportunities.
Several sources said privately, however, that there had been escalating concerns over the past several months about Cronin’s management of a department that oversees critical issues such as development review, code enforcement and urban renewal.
Cronin had been given opportunities to address the concerns, sources said, which involved a lack of collaboration, ineffective communication and an unwillingness to listen.
Cronin could not be reached for comment. He gave his two weeks’ notice Friday morning and informed his staff Friday afternoon. His last day of work is Oct. 6.
Estes said Cronin will continue to assist the city up until his final day. After he leaves, Estes, the city’s former community development director, will help fill in the gaps until a replacement is hired. Some planning work could also be contracted out.
“In terms of projects, we’re at a bit of a lull,” Estes said. “There’s definitely the workload that has to be done to keep the department running … but we’re actually at a good point for this transition.”
Cronin, a former senior project manager and business development coordinator for the Portland Development Commission, was hired by Astoria in June 2015. He was the only one of the finalists with Oregon-based planning and development experience.
During his time with the city, Cronin helped launch Advance Astoria, a road map for strategic economic development.
“I think Kevin did a good job with Advance Astoria,” Mayor Arline LaMear said. “I think he understands that economic development is really critical for the city and I would hope that whoever comes in would continue that … I would look forward to having someone who could really work well with staff, the Planning Commission and City Council.”