Webb resigns, Loyd to replace community development director

staff reports
In June 2005, Jonah Hracek, 6, gets a demonstration of firefighter equipment from Sherman Paramedic Gregg Loyd while Jonah's father, Kevin Hracek, looks on. Previously, Loyd served with the cities of Coppell and Sherman. Loyd previously was part of the Sherman Fire Department for 17 years before taking a position with the Coppell Fire Department in 2010.

Denison announced that it will be undergoing some changes in leadership in the coming weeks. In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, the city announced that Executive Director of Planning & Community Development John Webb has resigned after more than 25 years of planning experience in North Texas.

Stepping into the role as interim director of planning and community development will be Denison Fire Chief Gregg Loyd. The city is currently searching for a new fire chief.

"Loyd has extensive knowledge of fire development code and has been a part of the City's Executive Leadership team since he was hired in 2016," the release said. "His wealth of knowledge and leadership are valuable to the community and the city is thrilled Loyd will continue to serve Denison in this way."

This changed is the "first major update to the Zoning Code in decades," the release said.

"We are blessed that Gregg will be staying on with Team Denison," City Manager Greg Smith said in the release. "This is a wonderful opportunity for the City to keep a valued asset on staff and for Gregg to expand his horizons. We look forward to working with him in his new role.”

The future of the planning and community development director position remains uncertain. While Loyd has been named the interim director, city officials said there are no plans to make additional changes with that position. When asked if the city is seeking a permanent director, officials said the city is evaluating the position.

The release also addressed future plans for Denison Fire Rescue.

"Moving forward, Denison Fire Rescue (DFR) will be under the leadership of Kenneth Jacks, who has been named the Interim Fire Chief and will begin his service with DFR on October 11, 2021," the release said. "Most recently, Jacks held the position of Interim Fire Chief for Tomball, TX, after spending 27 years with the Richardson Fire Department and then held the position of Fire Chief for the New Braunfels Fire Department until 2019. Jacks has a degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University and a Texas Commission on Fire Protection Certified Master Firefighter, Master Fire Investigator, Master Fire Inspector, and Master Fire Service Instructor III."

Jacks is also certified as a Fire Service Chief Executive Officer from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

“The City is excited to bring Kenneth on as Interim Chief of Denison Fire Rescue," Smith said in the release. "His breadth of knowledge and management experience make him the perfect candidate to continue to move DFR forward and lead the team through the transition to a full-time Fire Chief.” 

Once a new fire chief is selected, the city plans to end its contract with Jacks. City officials said there are not plans to retain him during the transition as the city department already has two assistant chiefs.