The newest face at Newton City Hall is certainly one of the most recognizable in the community.
Thursday, City Administrator Bob Knabel announced former Iowa Speedway Communications Director Craig Armstrong was hired as the city's first Development Specialist. In his new role, Armstrong will report to Director of Finance and Development Bryan Friedman.
He will be tasked with assisting with the development of the city’s retail business and expansion of the residential real estate market. He also will promote Newton through the community’s new "Get To Know Newton" branding campaign.
His first day on the job will be Thursday, Feb. 27.
“We were fortunate to have some outstanding candidates for this new position of Development Specialist,” said Knabel. “It was a tough decision, but I am delighted that Craig accepted our offer and will be joining our staff next week. We have a number of exciting projects that we’re about to undertake, and I am confident that Craig will help us foster community growth and development in a very positive way.”
In keeping with the recommendations for the City’s Buxton Report, the Newton City Council approved the addition of a Development Specialist to the city’s staff at its Feb. 3 regular meeting. Armstrong's responsibilities will include:
• developing guidelines and overseeing incentives for buyers, builders and property owners for housing development;
• targeting and soliciting potential retail businesses for Newton;
• creating marketing materials for the City; and
• coordinating development activities with the Chamber of Commerce, Newton Development Corporation and other community stakeholders.
“I am both honored and thrilled to be entrusted with carrying out Newton’s development initiatives,” Armstrong said. “I’ve been in love with this community from the first day I arrived here in the spring of 2006, and I am so proud of what this city has accomplished in the eight years since. The future for our community is very bright, and I look forward to making a positive contribution for many years to come.”