ATI Board: Chatmon leaving but work must go on! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ATI Board: Chatmon leaving but work must go on!

December 20, 2006

Albany - - Albany Tomorrow CEO Tommy Chatmon is stepping down to serve as Executive Director of the Downtown Development Board in Orlando, Florida.

His resignation comes as city leaders consider major changes to A.T.I. and in the middle of several projects Albany Tomorrow is working on to improve downtown.

The announcement came suddenly. Tommy Chatmon, the first CEO of Albany Tomorrow is moving on.

"We hired Mr. Chatmon, turned out to be a good hire for him and for us but you've got a board in place that's on a mission still," says Albany Tomorrow Board Chair Emily Jean McAfee says the work will continue.

In a statement Wednesday, Chatmon says though he's leaving an organization he's been a part of since day one, he's excited to have this opportunity to expand professionally in a city known to be an aggressive player in development.

City Manager Alfred Lott is happy for Chatmon, but concerned.

"There are several projects from which city monies, splost give funds have been expended, I am concerned about who will take over and having a seamless transition."

Board Member Surendra Pandey says everything is a-ok.

"It's not that we work on day to day basis, we work on a long term planning basis so activities that are planned, they'll continue."

He says projects like a new planetarium at Thronateeska and a new park called the Ray Charles Plaza are in the works.

He also disapproves of the city's idea of taking money away from A.T.I. to hire a Downtown Manager to boost downtown development.

"The arrangement that we have right now is a good arrangement, its working. It has worked and we have proven results its not something that we are experimenting with. If you go downtown you can see the result."

McAfee says it could be a good thing as long as the collaboration with Albany Tomorrow remains in tact. She also wants people to know that just because Chatmon is stepping down, the board will still make progress.

"Things are a little bit below the radar screen as far as activity now but it's going to crank up quickly."  

Under Chatmon's leadership, Albany Tomorrow helped build major projects such as the Flint Riverquairum, The Hilton Garden Inn, and the new Albany Police Headquarters.

Chatmon will remain on board through February.

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