Gary Stith, director of the County’s Silver Spring Regional Services Center for the past eight years, has been selected to fill the new position of Deputy Director of Planning and Special Projects within Montgomery County Department of General Services (DGS).
DGS Director David Dise explained the role of the new position. “We realized that in order to improve our approach to countywide planning and real estate development, we needed a position that would focus on these areas and help the Executive branch work with the County Council and Planning Board on significant land use policy and implementation issues.”
“Given what this new position calls for in terms of experience and skill level, I can think of no one better qualified to serve than Gary Stith,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “For the past 16 years, he has been a leader and effective advocate for the Silver Spring community. This is an exciting opportunity for the County,” Leggett said, “and we look forward to Gary’s leadership and insight in this new, important position.”
Commenting on the selection, Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Firestine called Stith “the perfect person for the job” due to his experience in planning and development and “strong skills” in working with the community.
Prior to serving as director of the Silver Spring Center, Stith served five years as Redevelopment Manager for the Silver Spring Redevelopment Program. In this capacity, he oversaw the redevelopment of the core area of Downtown Silver Spring and developed the Urban Renewal Plans that established the County’s authority to develop the project.
“The decision to accept the new position was difficult, but the DGS job will give me the opportunity to take on new challenges,” Stith said. “However, Silver Spring will always have a special place in my heart, and I will still be a Silver Spring resident.”
The Silver Spring Regional Services Center -- one of five such centers around the county -- serves as a liaison between the County government and residents and businesses. Staff members work with local residents, community groups, regional Citizen Advisory Boards and other public agencies to provide information, identify and assess regional problems, and obtain a community perspective on major policy issues.
Stith received a Master’s of City Planning and MA in Public Administration from Ohio State University and a BA in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. He serves on the Public-Private Partnership Council of the Urban Land Institute and is a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a member of the International Downtown Association and National Capital Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Stith will start his new job on March 2.
Acting Director Named
While the search is conducted for a new director of the Silver Spring Regional Services Center, Roylene Roberts of the County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) will serve as acting director.
For the past five years, Roberts has worked in DHCA’s Community Development Division and currently serves as the chief of Neighborhood Revitalization. In this capacity, she coordinates revitalization efforts in several communities and with other departments on behalf of DHCA. Roberts is a member of the Maryland Downtown development Association Board of Directors and serves on the national Association of Housing and redevelopment Officers (NAHRO) Community Revitalization and development Committee.
Prior to coming to Montgomery County, Roberts was director of Regional Assistance with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
She also has 14 years of experience in municipal government as an administrator in both Maryland and Massachusetts.
“During my tenure with the County,” Roberts said, “I have been very fortunate to meet and work with many community members on a variety of Silver Spring initiatives, and I look forward to strengthening and furthering these working relationships.”
The new director, who will be chosen by County Executive Isiah Leggett, must be approved by the County Council.
# # #
Media Contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507
# # #