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Xenia seeking key person to help revitalize its historic downtown district

The city of Xenia is looking to replace a key position for economic development and to continue efforts to revitalize the downtown area.

Mary Crockett, Xenia’s community development coordinator, has retired after working 12 years for the city.

Several people inquired about the vacant job posting, including two internal candidates, according to Jackie Potter, Xenia’s human resources director.

Crockett’s salary was $67,932 and the salary range set for her eventual replacement is between $46,820.80 and $69,284.80.

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Potter said the best candidate will have “strong writing and presentation skills and be able to develop relationships with agencies, business owners, property owners and citizens.

“The ideal candidate will have … strong coordination and organizational skills … important to balance multiple projects and activities such as neighborhood programs, revitalization and redevelopment projects and fair-housing programs, and grant research and preparation,” Potter said.

Crockett began working for the city in February 2006, researching and writing grants to fund projects. She helped with Toward Independence, Inc. to complete facade renovations, which led to the opening of “One Bistro,” a popular eatery on Main Street which strives to help people with development disabilities learn job skills and become integrated in the community.

Among her accomplishments, Crockett was successful in 2013 working with the Downtown Xenia Now committee to get the city’s historic commercial structures recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Crockett received Heritage Ohio’s “Best Public Leader in Revitalization Award” in 2017.

She is credited with introducing initiatives aimed at creating a more vibrant downtown Xenia. Those include the National Slow Roll Bike movement in 2016 and more recently, implementing the HUD Hope VI-Main Street grant and historic tax credits. The tax credits will lead to the opening of five upper-floor apartments at the historic Litt Brothers Building, 21 E. Main St.

“This was the only such grant awarded nationally for downtown revitalization projects,” according to the city’s release.

Crockett “has always been a strong advocate for Xenia, especially the downtown,” said Steve Brodsky, Xenia’s development director.

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“She was a champion for downtown when few others were looking at it. Many of the improvements we have seen can be credited to her conviction that downtown can be so much more,” Brodsky said.

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