Mayor Miro Weinberger Appoints Noelle MacKay as Community & Economic Development Office Director


May 9, 2016
Contact:  Jennifer Kaulius

Mayor Miro Weinberger Appoints Noelle MacKay
as Community & Economic Development Office Director

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the appointment of Noelle MacKay as the City’s next Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) Director. MacKay comes to the City of Burlington following more than 16 years of community development, land use planning, and economic development experience. MacKay served for five years as the Executive Director of Smart Growth Vermont, and for the last five years she has served as Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) focused on developing housing policy, overseeing the Mobile Home Park Program, and strengthening Vermont’s downtowns. Mayor Weinberger will request the City Council’s approval of this appointment at its May 16, 2016 meeting. If confirmed by the City Council, MacKay intends to step down as Commissioner at the end of June 2016 and will start her service to the City of Burlington on August 1, 2016.

“Noelle is a dedicated public servant and an experienced leader and manager who has demonstrated a strong commitment to Burlington, Chittenden County, and the State of Vermont over the past decade," said Mayor Weinberger. "I am confident she will make an exemplary CEDO Director, will be a forward-thinking and trusted member of the City’s leadership team, and will continue CEDO’s proud traditions of affordable housing, community and economic development, and community justice.”

As Commissioner of DHCD, MacKay has balanced economic development interests with a strong desire to preserve Vermont’s sense of place and natural beauty while managing a full time staff of 40 employees and an annual budget of $28 million. She championed the creation of housing that is affordable for low-income Vermonters and earned respect both for her work at a statewide policy level and in local projects serving many of our State’s cities and towns. Her policy accomplishments included the creation of the new Neighborhood Development Areas designation (In 2014, Burlington was the first City in Vermont to approve such a designation) and a legislatively-approved amendment to Act 250 aimed at incentivizing the creation of mixed-income housing. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, she worked closely with other State officials, including Chief Recovery Officers Sue Minter and Neale Lunderville, to help provide relief and to rebuild towns damaged by the storm. As part of the Community Planning Initiative, MacKay brought together teams of senior members of the Governor’s cabinet from Agencies and Departments across State government, as well as non-profit partners, to better understand the needs in hard-hit communities.

Through her work at Smart Growth Vermont, MacKay worked in communities from Bristol to Burke to Danville to Burlington as a trusted partner, offering advice and practical solutions to Vermont towns to help build stronger communities, preserve their character, and protect the surrounding environment. She built a reputation as a careful listener, a thoughtful advocate for balanced land use policy, and a skilled manager able to handle complex challenges. 

"CEDO's staff and community partners have a long history in the City of Burlington and have worked for decades to ensure residents have housing they can afford, diverse economic opportunity, and a vibrant, strong community," said MacKay. "I am thrilled to be offered the opportunity to build upon this history and serve the people of this City." 

As the leader of the CEDO Department, MacKay will be responsible for an approximately 25-person staff engaging our community to build a vibrant, healthy, and equitable City. MacKay will begin her service to the City of Burlington on August 1, 2016, and CEDO Assistant Director for Community Development Marcy Esbjerg will serve as Acting Director of the Department until that time.

Please see attached documents, including:

  • Memorandum from Mayor Miro Weinberger to City Councilors dated May 9, 2016 requesting approval of appointment of Noelle MacKay as CEDO Director; and
  • Curriculum vitae of Noelle MacKay.

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Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office