FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN RAFAEL, CA – After a nationwide search, Economic Development and Innovation Director Micah Hinkle has been promoted to be the first director of the newly combined Community Development & Economic Development Department, overseeing the Planning, Building, Code Enforcement, Housing, and Economic Development functions for the City of San Rafael, effective March 1, 2024.
With the City Council priorities focused on neighborhood and economic vitality and housing, the collaboration between the Community Development and the Economic Development departments has been apparent over the past few years through multiple cross-projects and programs. Combining the skillsets between the two departments allows for greater innovation, resource depth, and efficiencies for all daily operations. In addition, the expanded five department core functions allow for cross-training and skill development for staff.
Micah brings over twenty-three years of municipal government experience to this expanded role, including ten years of senior management experience in key roles in city planning, code enforcement, public works, economic development, and workforce development. Micah started his professional career as a City Planner in the City of San Rafael Community Development Department from 1999 to 2006. He furthered his professional experience supporting the growth and vibrancy of multiple Bay Area cities, working in development and administrative roles in Napa, Cotati, Hayward, and Oakland, and returned to San Rafael in 2022. Before rejoining San Rafael, Micah served as Deputy Director of Economic and Workforce Development for the City of Oakland. In that role, Micah worked as a cross-departmental co-lead for the industrial lands policy and re-launched their business development program focused on equitable economic development and data-driven analytics. In addition, he led the department’s collaborative work on Oakland’s Downtown Specific Plan, General Plan update, Equitable Climate Action Plan, and progressive business tax ballot measure.
Cristine Alilovich, City Manager, stated, “Micah’s experience and in-depth knowledge of the San Rafael community make him a perfect fit to help implement the City Council’s strategic priorities supporting neighborhood and economic vitality and housing, along with the implementation of the General Plan 2040 and Downtown Precise Plan development goals. He is uniquely qualified to integrate these two departments and continue enhancing our programs and service delivery model for our residents, businesses, and the development community at large.”
“Since my return to San Rafael, I have been impressed with the City’s leadership team and the dedicated staff supporting the betterment of the San Rafael community. I’m humbled and honored to take on an expanded role as the Community Development Director. San Rafael has given so much to me personally and professionally, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead this newly formed department”, Micah said.
Micah holds a double bachelor’s degree in economics and city planning from Sonoma State University and is a member of the California Association for Local Economic Development, the International Network of Asian Public Administrators, the Urban Land Institute, and the American Planning Association.
Executive search firm Bob Murray and Associates conducted the nationwide recruitment. Micah’s monthly salary will be $18,084.