|Pittsfield's Ruffer Leaving For Cape Cod Job|
|Staff Reports, iBerkshires|
08:08PM / Monday, August 13, 2012
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's community development direction is resigning to take a similar job on Cape Cod.
Deanna Ruffer will be the director for Chatham's newly reorganized Community Development Department and its head planner after eight years in Pittsfield.
Ruffer has won more than $22 million in grants and taken major roles in the development of the Beacon Cinema, the downtown streetscape project, the First Street Common, the Colonial Theater renovation and the current Rice Silk Mil residential project.
"Deanna is an accomplished professional who has managed a key city department during an era of extraordinary growth in Pittsfield," said Mayor Daniel Bianchi in a statement Monday afternoon. "Her expertise in the area of community development has been very beneficial to Pittsfield. All of us will miss her exceptional work ethic, her talent for putting difficult projects together and her skill at bringing them to very successful conclusions."
Ruffer was appointed to the city position in 2004 by former Mayor James Ruberto to manage the city's planning, land use, developments, neighborhood housing initiatives and administration of the federal Community Development Block Grants.
"Collaboration was a very important part of this job," Ruffer said. "We built a wide network of support both inside and outside of City Hall to help facilitate projects that were important for Pittsfield. I went to countless meetings and there was never a time when I didn’t learn something new from someone in attendance."
Ruffer said she chose the Chatham job because it will be "an exciting new challenge" and in a good area of the state.
"I'll be responsible for implementing the reorganization of the Community Development Department, which has been initiated by Chatham’s new town manager," Ruffer said. "This is an opportunity to apply my leadership skills in a geographic environment that we [she and her husband, Kevin] both love."
She said she is sad to leave the city with projects still in the works but is confident that the rest of the staff will be able to finish them.
"Mayor Bianchi and I developed an excellent working relationship from Day 1 and I have the greatest respect for him,” Ruffer said. "I’m sorry that I will not be able to continue as part of this administration. There are many exciting projects on the horizon that will continue to advance the city and position it well for the future."