Jackson City Council approves new planning director

Public Works director still serves in interim capacity.
The Jackson City Council approved naming Chloe' Dotson, the director of Planning and Development.
The Jackson City Council approved naming Chloe' Dotson, the director of Planning and Development.(Chloe' Dotson)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:54 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Months after taking on the position in an interim role, Chloe’ Dotson has officially been named director of Jackson’s Department of Planning and Development.

On Tuesday, the Jackson City Council approved Dotson’s appointment with a 7-0 vote.

Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks said Dotson had been doing “tremendous work” as an interim director, and asked the council to suspend the procedures, so that members could vote without going through two rounds of questions.

“From the time she’s been here, and her interaction with my ward especially, has been a tremendous help in cleaning up some vacant lots and helping us develop a plan moving forward for our neighborhoods,” Ward 5 Councilman Aaron Banks said, echoing Banks’ sentiments.

Dotson replaces former director Jordan Hillman, who was tapped by Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to take over public works back in August.

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes said he had no problem appointing Dotson, but wanted to know what would happen to Hillman if she is not confirmed as public works director.

Hilman has been serving in an interim role throughout the water crisis, but her nomination has not been brought forward to the council for approval.

“I did not know whether the former planning director was going to come back to planning. She’s in public works, and most of the time, in public works, you’re looking for an engineer,” he said. “A lot of people feel comfortable with her, but, you know, if they’re trying to bring her up for a vote as public works director, not being an engineer, it’s going to be kind of difficult.”

Stokes asked if someone from the administration would give the council an update on the “overall gameplan,” but none was offered at Tuesday’s meeting.

Hillman’s term as interim director could be close to expiring. WLBT reported that Hillman was named interim public works director on August 30.

Mississippi statute, meanwhile, limits interim appointments to 90 days. After that time, if an interim appointment is not confirmed by the council or board of aldermen, he or she can no longer be paid with public funds.

It was not known exactly what date Hillman took over the position. If Hillman did take over on the 30th, she would have to confirmed by the council in 6 days to stay on in the role.

When asked if the mayor would bring Hillman’s name forward as a nomination, Jackson Director of Communicatons Melissa Faith Payne said she did not have an answer and that it was a personnel issue.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.