Angie Carrier, Johnson City’s first Development Services Department director, has only been on the job for about two weeks, but she’s wasted no time in getting acquainted with her staff and identifying the first strategic steps.
Carrier was chosen by City Manager Pete Peterson in November to lead the newly created department borne from the consolidation of the city’s planning, community development, codes enforcement and geographic information systems departments as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization.
She now oversees 27 employees within the new umbrella department that was created after a management study of the development review process that concluded with recommendations in April last year by Edwardsville, Ind.-based Matrix Consulting Group. After completing its review, the group recommended developers, builders and community members would be best served by the move.
“Before I ever started I was familiar with the study,” she said from her new office on the Municipal & Safety Building’s second floor. “The first thing I did was get to know the staff and employees. Anytime there is a change in a department, people are a bit hesitant, and I’m just now getting acclimated myself. Next week I’m having a strategic planning session with the entire staff, and we will develop a mission statement. So our first set of goals will come from that session.”
Carrier was most recently a White House, Tenn., city administrator. She also has served in Dandridge as town administrator (2002-05) and assistant town administrator/city recorder (2000-02). Her career in city management began in Maryville in 1999, where she worked on special projects.
She is from Northeast Tennessee, where she attended Sullivan East High School in Bluff City before earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee. In 1999, she received her master’s degree in city management from East Tennessee State University.
“I’m not going to pretend I’m all knowing; I want everyone’s input,” she said. “Having been a city manager I know the buck stops there. Now I have only one boss (Peterson), and I’m totally confident we can deliver what’s needed.”
Carrier said she is not going to base the department’s successes and failures on the Matrix study.
“The most important key to the entire study was (better) communication, and I think that can be corrected,” she said. “Developers want to be treated the same as the next developer that walks in. I think that matters. I think we should treat everyone that walks through that door the same. They will know what to expect from us, and we want to be consistent and fair across the board.”
Peterson applauded Carrier’s experience and said she brings expertise to Johnson City, where the goal is to streamline the process, which in turn should improve communication so the city and developers work easily and efficiently together to ensure the economic progress.