Hughson names new community development director

Bee Staff ReportsMay 7, 2014 

Hughson has named Jaylen French as its new community development director, to succeed Thom Clark, who left the position in the fall to become public services director for Oakdale.

Jim Duval, a retired Stanislaus County assistant planning director, has been serving as the interim director and worked with Hughson City Manager Raul Mendez to find a permanent community development director.

French has worked with the Stanislaus Council of Governments since 2009 and has strong technical skills in the area of land-use and transportation planning, the city said in a news release. Prior to that, he worked for JB Anderson, where he provided oversight to consultants and managed development projects.

French will begin with the city of Hughson on Monday. He will oversee planning, public works, and parks and recreation. He also will work closely with the mayor, City Council, city manager, city attorney and city engineer as needed on projects and initiatives, the news release said.

“Mr. French exhibited the planning expertise and professional leadership skills that the city of Hughson was looking for,” Mendez said in the news release. “He is well respected in the field for his attention to detail and will bring fresh and exciting approaches to advancing the City Council’s initiatives in the areas of planning and economic development.”

Nine qualified people applied for the position of community development director, the city reported. Eight of the nine were interviewed and ranked by an expert panel. French was one of three finalists invited back to the selection interview with Mendez.

French has a bachelor of science degree in city and regional planning from California Polytechnic State University. He and his wife, Maria, have two children, Athan, 3, and Ava, 1.

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