The city of Denison has new leadership overseeing community services, including Parks and Recreation, the Denison Public Library and Building and Permitting. City officials have named Kimberly Murray to the new position of director of community and development services.

The position was left vacant when former Director Gabe Reaume left Denison in late 2017 to pursue a position as the new city manager for Saginaw after about two years with the city. During the interim, the position was filled by Rod Hogan, who previously served as interim assistant city manager.

“Denison is just a fantastic community,” Murray said. “I was excited when I first got here and met the people who work in the city. It is truly a team effort.”

Denison City Manager Jud Rex said the city’s search for a new development services director took about four months. Rex said he previously worked with Murray when they were both employed by the city of Strasburg, Virginia. During that time, Rex said he was impressed by Murray’s leadership, wide skill set and experience.

Murray said she brings 20 years of experience in historic preservation, revitalization and public works in addition to her experience with planning. Murray started her career in planning before adding transportation planning and economic development to her skill sets.

Beyond being certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, Murray also is a certified economic developer with the International Economic Development Council. This gives the city of Denison three certified planners, including Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai and Vice President William Myers.

“All this means is I can bring a breadth and depth of skills to the table to serve the city of Denison,” Murray said.

With regard to Denison, Murray said she saw opportunities in downtown and applauded the efforts in recent years by the Main Street department. This combined with the city’s ongoing Designing Downtown Denison program have created ample possibilities for redevelopment and new life, she said.

“We have plenty of space, plenty of buildings and plenty of opportunities to develop Denison into a hub for community gatherings,” she said.

With the city planning to move city hall to its new location in the 300 block of Main Street later this summer, Murray said she plans to work to streamline the process for development in the city. With this, she hopes to make one single location where developers and builders can get the permitting and other requirements for development completed.