Jaye Matthews has made his career finding the bright spots when the blight seems to be sweeping through the community.
As an operations officer for the Baltimore Housing Department, she said she helped bring 1,345 residential units, a school, two new parks and a $22 million recreation center renovation to a community in need.
Now, as Clearwater’s new Director of Community Renewal, she’s tasked with leading the revitalization of a downtown that has been struggling for decades.
“If I had to use one word, my first thought of downtown Clearwater would be opportunity,” Matthews said in a recent interview.
“Clearwater isn’t just the most beautiful beach in downtown America, it’s supposed to be a place to attract people, give people the opportunity to live near where they work, host an event on a Friday night… I can imagine , because I’ve seen this practiced in many places. “
Matthews, 47, will take office Dec. 5, becoming Clearwater’s third director of community renewal in six years. The City Council, which serves as trustees for the rebuilding agency, voted unanimously to hire her, Jennings, on a $122,900 salary, on the recommendation of City Manager Jon. The city received 11 job applicants.
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