SCHENECTADY — Schenectady’s neighborhoods need to be connected better, the city’s new director of development said.
Kristin Diotte cited that issue as among those she intends to address in her new job after Mayor Gary McCarthy announced the appointment Tuesday.
“I’ve put a great value in urban design and the way that we connect neighborhoods,” Diotte said. “So I’m very interested in strengthening the connection between all of the disparate sections of the city.”
Diotte comes to the city from the private sector. She’s worked since 2011 as a project manager and architectural designer at Re4orm Architecture in Schenectady. She also founded Operation Railbridge in 2015, a creative studio that focuses on re-imagining underutilized public space, according to her resume.
She’s served as a city planning commissioner and on the city’s recreation advisory commission. She graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2011. Her salary is to be $70,000.
“Kristin brings a lot of knowledge and experience within this community,” McCarthy said in making the announcement.
“As you get to meet her and know her, you can see the level of commitment that she has not only to this community, but to the region,” McCarthy said.
She takes over the post vacated in March by Jackie Mancini, who took a job with Schenectady County.
McCarthy’s director of development appointment in Diotte, however, was overshadowed by his simultaneous appointment of former judge Michael C. Eidens to the city’s public safety commissioner post.
McCarthy said he planned the dual announcement because the two posts are interdependent.
Public safety fosters the opportunity for economic development, he said. Businesses and residents won’t relocate to Schenectady unless it’s safe.
“On the other hand, if we do the positive economic development, it displaces the negative element,” McCarthy said.
Diotte said she is excited to start work. Her first official day on the job is Wednesday.
“This city has a great history of innovation and I’m excited to build upon that through community engagement and working with all the great thinkers that we have here,” she said.