James Riker, the manager of planning and community development for the City of Flowery Branch in nearby Hall County, was named Duluth’s new director of planning and development at Monday night’s Duluth City Council meeting.
“I am proud and excited to announce the hiring of the city’s new Planning Director James Riker,” City Manager Tim Shearer reported to the council at its Jan. 14 meeting.
Riker has served for the past eight years in the Flowery Branch position. Prior to that he held positions of increasing responsibility as a planner with the City of Pico Rivera, CA, Shearer said. Pico Rivera is located in the Los Angeles area.
He has a master’s degree in Planning, Urban Planning and Development from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University. Riker is a member of the American Planning Association (APA), Georgia Planning Association (GPA) and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
Riker will fill the position vacated by Glenn Coyne, who resigned in November to take a planning job in his native state of Ohio.
The city initiated a national search for Coyne's replacement. Duluth had a choice of many qualified applicants for the job, Shearer said.
Riker will assume his new position in Duluth Monday, Jan. 28, Shearer said. Riker lives in Decatur and is married, he said.