December 10, 2021 – The City of Midland is pleased to announce the hiring of two new team members to its Planning Department: Ryan Smith as the new community development planner and Beth Robb as community development grant administrator.
Community Development Planner Ryan Smith comes to the City from Bay County government, where he most recently served as the Bay City Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) director. A transportation manager and GIS manager by trade, Smith’s experience includes drafting transportation planning documents, community stakeholder coordination, and geographic data analysis. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Central Michigan University with a concentration in GIS, sustainability, and environmental policy.
Smith’s responsibilities in his new role will include assisting with the City Modern Master Plan update, conducting departmental staff reviews for site plans and other new developments, and working with the City Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Housing Commission.
Community Development Grant Administrator Beth Robb brings experience in grant writing, community engagement, and grant management to her new role. A retired educator, Robb most recently served as a lead teacher at Education Training Connection in Saginaw and previously participated on the Saginaw Housing Commission. Robb holds an associate’s degree from Delta College, a bachelor’s degree from Saginaw Valley State University, and both a master’s degree and educational specialist degree from Central Michigan University.
In this part-time role, Robb will serve as the administrator of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, a federal program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to invest federal dollars locally to provide decent housing, create suitable living environments, and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income residents. In addition, her expertise will play a crucial role in administering federal dollars granted to the City in 2021 for flood recovery ($5.5 million) and COVID-19 relief ($350,000).
“Welcoming Ryan and Beth and the extensive knowledge, experience, and passion they have for community development comes during a pivotal time for both our organization and our community,” said City Director of Planning and Community Development Grant Murschel. “The City Modern Master Plan update and the administration of federal grant monies, aligned strategically with our vision for the future of Midland, will create an opportunity for their work to make an impact on the Midland community for many years to come.”
For more information on the City of Midland Planning Department, please visit www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/planning or call 989-837-3374.