New Community Development Department Director

After an extensive nationwide search process, the City of Ridgefield has hired Louisa Garbo to serve as the City’s Community Development Department Director. Ms. Garbo fills a position which was previously held for 4 years by Jeff Niten, who in January, 2019, was hired to serve as the City of Shelton’s City Manager.

Ms. Garbo is a certified planner, a certified mediator, and an accredited LEED green associate. Ms. Garbo holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master’s Degree in City Planning, Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Arts in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding. Ms. Garbo has extensive experience in local government administration, policy, and land use planning. She most recently served as the Community Development Director for Kitsap County, WA, with prior work as a Director of Planning in the City of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and as a City planner in Arizona for over a decade.

“I enjoy living in the West Coast and want to work in a smaller community where I can make a greater impact in help building a sustainable community. I looked up and down the West Coast for a growing community with a commitment to sustainability and a clear vision, where I felt my experience and commitment to innovative planning would be valued and valuable. I learned a lot through the interview process; after meeting with the community and the dedicated and talented people working for the City, I felt Ridgefield checked all the boxes for me,” said Ms. Garbo.

City Manager Steve Stuart said of Ms. Garbo, “We are really excited that Louisa is joining our team. She is widely recognized as a visionary at strategic planning and has a proven track record of success creating innovative ways to connect people with place.” Beyond her planning and management skills, Stuart noted that “Louisa’s Fine Arts background offers a unique opportunity to enhance our partnerships with Ridgefield organizations like Ridgefield Main Street and Ridgefield Arts Association who are working to beautify and revitalize our Arts Quarter and historic Destination Downtown.”

Ms. Garbo will begin work at the City of Ridgefield on May 1.

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