Mark Muenzer has been appointed as Redwood City’s new community development and transportation director following the departure of Aaron Aknin in February, which prompted a national executive search.
Muenzer’s appointment begins Aug. 19. He was described by Redwood City officials as a highly experienced innovator who formerly served as community development director in Menlo Park, overseeing the city’s planning, building, housing and economic development divisions. In Menlo Park, he managed department staff in processing significant mixed-use development projects including an 8-acre Stanford University mixed-use project, and the proposed 60-acre Facebook Willow Village.
Prior to his work in Menlo Park, he served as a department head for the City of Evanston, Ill., managing planning, housing, building/inspection, and city transportation. His reorganization of the department led to record building permit revenue, improved project review processes and implementations of an inclusionary housing ordinance and transit-oriented development projects, according to a statement by Redwood City.
Muenzer also served as Evanston’s first LGBT Liaison connecting city government to the community’s LGBT residents.
“Mark has an outstanding reputation as an urban planning professional and leader,” said Melissa Stevenson Diaz, city manager of Redwood City. “Mark has broad experience with complex projects, and a creative and visionary mindset. His demonstrated ability to bring together stakeholders with diverse interests will be an asset for Redwood City.”
Muenzer said he is “thrilled” to join Redwood City.
“The City of Redwood City has a progressive reputation where it values collaboration with a diverse community,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to leading a team of professional staff to serve the community and further the City’s mission.”
Muenzer, who lives in downtown San Jose, has also held management roles in Chicago’s planning department, as well as for the City of Countryside, Ill. and as contract services manager for the Hamilton County Development Company, Inc.
He holds a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, with a concentration in economic development planning, and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science from Gannon University, with a concentration in business administration, according to the city of Redwood City.