The city of Delaware has hired Shannon Hamons to serve as the city's economic development coordinator effective Feb. 8.

The city of Delaware has hired Shannon Hamons to serve as the city's economic development coordinator effective Feb. 8.

Hamons has been economic development director for the cities of Westerville, Upper Arlington and Grove City. He most recently worked for Columbus-based Pizzuti Companies, a national commercial retail business with offices in Orlando, Chicago and Atlanta.

Hamons will earn an annual salary of $78,000.

The city has been without an economic development coordinator since April 2009.

"The city of Delaware will benefit from Shannon's extensive public and private sector experience," city manager Tom Homan said. "His expertise will keep Delaware competitive by proactively engaging the development community to attract businesses to our commercial corridors."

Former city development director Gus Comstock has known Hamons for 20 years and is excited to see him join "the team."

The team is government administrators and elected officials from around the county whose focus is on economic development, Comstock said. It includes Dave Martin from Sunbury, Dave Anderson from Liberty Township, Rob Quigley from Orange Township, Joe Clase from Genoa Township and Dave Betz from Powell.

"Shannon is a very powerful addition to that team," he said.

Hamons, who lives in Westerville in Delaware County, is a certified economic developer and is a member of the International Economic Development Council. That is another plus, said Comstock, who also is a certified economic developer.

"You will probably not find another county in the country that has two people with that certification," he said.

Hamons said he is excited about his new duties with the city.

"Delaware is a very attractive community because of its many attributes such as quality of life, standard of living, and political and professional leadership," he said. "I look forward to advancing Delaware's economic development goals."

Hamons will work closely with city departments and city council to update strategic plans and implement marketing and development strategies.

"Shannon will be a strong addition to the city's team, given his extensive economic development experience in the public sector and his most recent private sector experience," Homan said.

Comstock left the city job to become Delaware County's development director. He earned $84,000 a year in the city post; the county pays him $91,000.

The city began a search for a new coordinator last year but held off on filling the position because of mid-year budget cuts that carried over into 2010.

A recently opened position in the planning and community development department, combined with city council's support for filling the position, opened the way for the hiring.

"Ideally, we would have been able to fill the planning position, now, as well," Homan said. "However, given the fact that the economic development position has been vacant nearly a year and the need to expand the city's economic base is so critical, it is simply more important right now to fill that position."