Delaware city economic development coordinator Shannon Hamons will resign effective April 29.

Delaware city economic development coordinator Shannon Hamons will resign effective April 29.

Hamons said in his resignation letter he has been asked to serve as vice president of Pizzuti Solutions of Columbus. Hamons served as director of special projects there for five years before the city hired him Feb. 8, 2010.

In his resignation letter Hamons said, "I was not looking to leave the city of Delaware, nor did I apply for this position with Pizzuti. They contacted me about returning and eventually made an offer that was too appealing to pass up."

Hamons told ThisWeek that Pizzuti Co. contacted him a couple months ago about returning and initially, he wasn't interested. He said his decision was a combination of many factors. He found the professional challenge of projects appealing. Financial considerations also came into play.

"After a while it just seemed to make sense," Hamons said.

Hamons, who said he thought he was going to be with the city "for quite a while," said he will find it hard to walk away from the community.

"You know half the people you see by first name and they know you and you get to strike up a conversation," Hamons said.

Community affairs coordinator Lee Yoakum said city manager Tom Homan received Hamons' resignation letter April 14. Yoakum said city council and Homan are discussing steps related to the economic development coordinator position.

Yoakum said Hamons was good to work with while he was with the city. "We wish him well in his endeavors," he said.

During the April 19 city council meeting, council member Carolyn Riggle suggested the city meet with county officials to discuss the possibility of Delaware County economic development director Gus Comstock serving in a dual role, aiding the city for a 12- or 18-month period. Riggle said the city doesn't have funds available to hire someone new.

Council member Lisa Keller said she had "serious reservations" about the idea, saying economic development deserves of its own department in addition to a coordinator position. "Those two agendas are very unique," she said of the city and county. Keller said the economic development coordinator position is the "only one that has the potential to generate serious revenue for us."

"Everybody is in the economic development arena," city manager Tom Homan said. A development opportunity for the city "could be lost or traded off" if Comstock were to serve the city and the county, Homan said.

Mayor Gary Milner told ThisWeek the idea was brought up in 2009 when Comstock left the city development job, and many people felt then that the city should have its own coordinator.

While Milner said the joint venture makes sense, council might not approve the idea.

Delaware County commissioner Dennis Stapleton told ThisWeek that he spoke with Homan and county administrator Tim Hansley. "I believe Tom and Tim will discuss some particulars and then obviously the three commissioners would also have to discuss on our end of things," he said.

"My initial reaction is that it is something that needs to be looked at, but at the same time we, the county, need to be aware of our townships and other municipalities if something like this were to occur. This is all very preliminary at this time and many parameters need to be investigated and looked over," Stapleton said.

Comstock told ThisWeek he has briefly discussed the possibility of a dual role with Hansley and Stapleton. While the option could save money and possibly result in better city and county coordination, it could convey a perception of unfairness among other jurisdictions, he said. "I have been here long enough and have established a credible reputation, so I would hope my peers would not see this as a problem."

"Our membership in Columbus2020 demonstrated our commitment to regional economic development and offset past regional rivalries. Surely we should be able to internally cooperate," he said.

The city also will lose city prosecutor Peter Ruffing and city attorney Dan Bennington, whose last days are June 30.