Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell today nominated Leonard Lightner to be director of the Department of Community & Economic Development.
Lightner has been serving as interim director of the department since March 2017.
He has been with the city since 2008 beginning as housing rehabilitation supervisor in the Bureau of Building Standards & Safety. He became risk and safety manager in the Human Resources Department in 2014 where he served until becoming DCED Operations Manager in February 2017.
“Leonard has produced results in every position he has held with the city,” said O’Connell. “I am very happy to have him on the team heading-up DCED.”
As risk and safety manager, Lightner achieved a workers’ comp cost reduction of 45% in two years and cost reduction of 60% in two years with the city’s motor vehicle accidents and liability incidents.
As housing rehabilitation supervisor, Lightner managed, coached, mentored, evaluated and oversaw a team of 12 personnel. He also managed grants, special projects, investigations of citizen complaints, inspection teams, housing rehabilitation teams and an emergency housing team.
“I want to thank Mayor O’Connell for the confidence he has expressed in me,” Lightner said. “I am very proud to lead DCED and to serve as its representative across the city. DCED provides key services to our residents and is important from a planning and zoning perspective. We will continue to tend to those duties judiciously.”
Lightner is a retired Command Sergeant Major from the U.S. Army. His service record includes multiple combat tours in Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lightner holds a B.A. in Business Management from Muhlenberg College and a Master of Theology from Moravian Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.
The director of DCED supervises a number of city bureaus, including planning, health, building standards and safety, economic development, community development and the city’s federal Community Development Block Grant program. Among other responsibilities, the director develops an annual operating and capital budget for the department and serves on various commissions, like Allentown Economic Development Corporation.
Lightner will earn $110,848 as director.
Lightner’s nomination must be confirmed by City Council. A confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1 at 5:00pm.