Apr. 16—City of Aiken Planning Director Ryan Bland is leaving his position to start a job in the private sector very soon.
Although the City of Aiken's Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday marked Bland's last meeting as the city's planning director, the city has reaped benefits from his work.
"... Ryan has been a very good planning director," said City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh. "He has provided efficient service to our customers, working with them to find solutions that help maintain Aiken's essence while providing economic growth..."
Bedenbaugh said during City Council's Monday meeting that Bland's last day was to be Friday, April 23.
Bland, in an interview, said he'd rather not say at this point what position he will be taking in the private sector.
Bland said he has enjoyed his time with the city, "... but have received an offer to work in the private development side, and thought I would take that opportunity," he added.
It wasn't anything Bland was seeking out; however, he thought it might be something interesting with somebody in his career path.
It was unexpected, he noted.
"... Love my time here with the city but have ultimately decided to give the private development side a try," Bland said.
The city will be conducting a search for the planning director position and hopes to have it filled in less than six months, Bedenbaugh said in an email.
Marya Moultrie will be the interim planning director while the position is being advertised. She will also be the planning commission secretary, Bland said in an email.
The director (or interim director) has typically served as secretary to the planning commission.
Bedenbaugh, who described Bland as a very good colleague, said he will miss him.