After nearly six months of searching, seven interviews, and two rejections, the Oxford Downtown Development Authority (DDA) finally has a new executive director.
At an Aug. 23 special meeting, the village council voted 3-0 to confirm the appointment of Glenn Pape, of Howell, to the position.
“This is an opportunity to turn Oxford into the pearl of the M-24 corridor through Oakland County, so I’m looking forward to this,” he said.
The DDA board voted 8-0 to approve an at-will employment agreement with Pape following a closed session at its Aug. 21 meeting.
According to that agreement, Pape will be paid a starting annual salary of $50,000, plus benefits. After the first year, he’s eligible to receive a $2,500 raise based on a review of his performance. He’s eligible for another $2,500 raise after his second year, again, based on a performance review.
Pape’s employment agreement mandates “a performance review shall be conducted at least once annually.”
“The first evaluation shall take place no later than six (6) months after (the) date of hire by the entire DDA Board and the next evaluation (shall occur) prior to the completion of one (1) year of employment,” the agreement states. “Thereafter, the DDA Board shall evaluate the performance of the employee in the month of January in order to coordinate with budget planning.”
Pape has enjoyed a long career in education, planning and economic development.
“For the last dozen or so years, I’ve been a placemaking consultant and downtown specialist across Michigan,” he told council.
Since September 2016, Pape has been a private planning consultant working with communities on downtown redevelopment, placemaking, parking management, retail market assessments and public engagement. He’s been doing business under the name Data Driven Urban Design.
Prior to consulting, he worked for Michigan State University (MSU) for 12 years in three different positions.
His most recent role was regional land policy educator for southeast Michigan from February 2009 through September 2016. He worked with various communities, providing education, technical assistance and project management for planning, zoning and economic development initiatives.
Pape said he spent his time at MSU “working around the state, helping communities become the best that they can be.” He spent a lot of time assisting distressed communities including Inkster, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Ecorse and River Rouge.
Before MSU, Pape was a private planning consultant working with various townships to develop master plan updates and zoning amendments. He did that from January 2002 to April 2004.
Pape has a bachelor’s degree in economics, which he earned from Central Michigan University (CMU) in 1995. He’s also done graduate work in economics at CMU and MSU, and graduate work in urban design and real estate at the University of Miami.
Since 2003, Oxford’s DDA has had six directors. Four resigned for other positions, one quit to start a family and one was chopped due to budget cuts. The last director, Joe Frost, left earlier this year to take a job with Main Street Oakland County.