Press Club

Planning Director Resigns Five Months After Hiring

Arlington County planning director Peter Katz, an author and nationally recognized proponent of the New Urbanism movement, has abruptly resigned after less than five months on the job.

Katz resigned yesterday, effective immediately, according to Arlington County Director of Communications Diana Sun. The resignation was first reported by the Arlington Mercury.

In a prepared written statement, Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development Director Robert Brosnan suggested the resignation followed a realization that Katz was not the right person for the job.

Peter Katz is a well-known proponent of the New Urbanism (smart growth) movement, and has played a key role in shaping the movement.

Peter and we have come to a mutual agreement that his passion and energies are better suited to consulting than to staff work. Though we both worked hard to make it work, it just ultimately wasn’t the right fit, which we regret.

The role of Planning Director is a key one in Arlington and we will take immediate steps to fill the position.

We wish Peter all the best in his career and future endeavors.

Robert Brosnan, Director
Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development

Update at 4:25 p.m. — Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster says the standard salary of a planning director in Arlington is $150,000. That would put Katz’s to-date compensation at about $60,000. Foster could not say whether Katz would receive a severance package, citing privacy reasons. Former county manager Michael Brown’s $110,000 severance payment was revealed, she said, because Brown was under contract, whereas Katz was a county employee.

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Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.

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