Sword will leave his post on March 28 after more than nine years of guiding the city through its unprecedented development activity, City Manager Donna Landeros announced Wednesday.
Sword's departure comes in the midst of the city's recent budgetary belt-tightening due, in large part, to the housing market, and which has resulted in the reduction of staff, as well as the city's operational revenue and expenditures. Casey McCann, the city's assistant director of community development, will become the interim community development director. The director and assistant positions will be combined in the cost-cutting move.
"While the decision for my departure was a difficult one, I am immensely proud of the hard work put in by the city's community development staff over the years," Sword said in a press release. "Each and every day, these professionals put their heart and soul into building the best Brentwood imaginable, whether it is maintaining high standards for housing projects or guiding the development of our office and retail developments. I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in Brentwood."
Sword joined the city in 1999 during a period of record growth and helped to usher in many of the new retail, office, industrial and housing developments throughout the city, including the Technology and Education Center (including Los Medanos College's Brentwood campus) on Sand Creek Road. During his tenure, more than 2 million square feet of new retail space was created.
Sword's departure marks the seventh layoff since cutbacks began last month. In all, Landeros said, the city has trimmed nearly 30 full-time positions: the layoffs plus retirements, conversions to part-time status and lateral moves. It amounts to about 10 percent of the city's 280-employee workforce.
"We're still looking at the budget we'll be bringing to the City Council in June," she said. "And we're still trying to find more vacancies." It's hoped, she added, that additional departures won't require pink slips.
"There's a tremendous amount of uncertainty," she said of the climate at City Hall right now. "But our employees are doing a terrific job of staying focused on work and providing great customer service."