City hires Community Development director

November 29, 2018 GMT

Rochester has named its first director for the city’s new Community Development Department.

Frankfort, Ky., City Manager Cindy Steinhauser has been tapped to lead the new department in Rochester, which is expected to take root at the beginning of 2019, eventually taking over some planning duties currently performed by the consolidated Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department.

Prior to her Frankfort position, Steinhauser held various city positions in Dubuque, Iowa.

She served as a neighborhood development specialist, parking system supervisor and assistant city manager throughout more than 20 years with the city. She also has experience working in downtown development and led Dubuque’s design team for key infrastructure projects, including convention center parking facilities, historic city buildings, and numerous parks.

“Cindy is a strategic thinker with a proven ability to bring community members, organizations and city departments together to accomplish key initiatives,” City Administrator Steve Rymer said in a statement announcing the hire. “Her leadership will be key in shaping the new department and helping advance priorities vital to the long-term sustainability of the Rochester community.”

Steinhauser was the first recipient of the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, one of the first cultural corridor recipients and Great Places designation by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. She is an active member of International City/County Management Association, serving as the chairwoman of the Sustainable Community Advisory Committee from 2015 to 2018, as well as serving on the International Committee, and the Editorial Board Research Committee.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve the city of Rochester,” she said in the statement. “It is exciting to join a community and leadership team that is focused on innovation and growth. I look forward to working with our partner organizations, city teammates, and the community to implement the vision of the city of Rochester for every person, every day.”

The Community Development Department is planned as part of a holistic concept aimed at driving innovative, collaborative and facilitative development in the city.

Rymer has said the director will be the first of several hires to establish the department in January, which will be followed by other staff choices aimed at starting planning efforts in the summer.

While the city is creating its own department, Rochester and Olmsted County officials have expressed the desire to continue collaboration on many aspects of planning.