Rybak names Southwest resident new chief of staff

Political veteran Tina Smith will succeed David Fey as Mayor R.T. Rybak's new chief of staff.

Smith, a Fulton resident, is leaving her position as vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to join Rybak's staff.

Fey, meanwhile, has accepted a position as a senior policy manager for the city's Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department.

Before joining Planned Parenthood, Smith was a key political strategist for several high-profile politicians, including former Vice President Walter Mondale when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 following the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone.

She also has worked on the gubernatorial campaigns of DFLers Ted Mondale and Judi Dutcher. She served as Ted Mondale's director of special projects when he was chair of the Metropolitan Council.

She said she will be an &#8220ambassador” for Rybak within City Hall and in the community, charged with building coalitions and consensus.

Smith also will serve as a key policy advisor on the mayor's legislative priorities for his second term, including campaigns to make the city more sustainable and to &#8220close the gap” in disparities in education, income and homeownership, among other things.

Rybak said Smith is someone with a lot of energy and experience in policy-making and politics.

&#8220We're going to need to build some very broad coalitions in the City Hall and out in the community, and Tina is extremely good at bringing people to the table, listening to them and then turning those ideas into action,” he said.

As for Fey, Rybak commended him for his role in merging the city's community planning and economic developments arms into CPED. He served as deputy mayor since 2002.

Fey said he plans to continue work on affordable housing and equitable community development in his new role at CPED.

Fey and Smith plan to start their respective new positions at the end of the month.

Rybak also tapped someone new for city coordinator. In December, he nominated Steven Bosacker, the city's director of results management, for the position.

The City Council's Ways and Mean Committee approved Bosacker's nomination Jan. 9.

Coordinator is the city's chief administrator charged with overseeing the city's financial operations and interests in local, state and federal activities, among other things.

The city coordinator also supervises the heads of several key departments, including communications, finance, human resources, information and technology services, intergovernmental relations, and regulatory services.