KEEL News has obtained the resignation letter of Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission Executive Director Mark Sweeney. Two MPC Board Members have verified the resignation to KEEL as well.

The letter reads:

"First of all, I want to express my gratitude to MPC Board for your willingness to renegotiate my employment agreement per the public action taken at last Monday’s Special Board Meeting.  Your continued faith and support in me over the past four years, as your Executive Director, is greatly appreciated.  However, I will not be pursuing this gracious proposal as I have been offered and have accepted the Executive Director position with a Regional Planning Agency in another state.  This opportunity represents a “once in a lifetime” career and financial prospect for me that I cannot refuse.

The knowledge and experience I have gained as Executive Director of the MPC has well prepared me to take on the leadership responsibilities of a larger organization that provides a variety of planning services with a diverse and sustainable funding base.  Having successfully concluded two months of contract negotiations with my future employer, as of last Thursday,  it is now the appropriate time for me to provide a 45 day notification of my intent to leave the MPC.   This means my official last day of employment will be Wednesday, August 15, 2018.
 
Within the remaining time, as your Executive Director, it is my primary goal to complete the preparation of the 2019 MPC Budget for your consideration at your August 1st meeting, submit all of the requested UDC Ordinance amendments for your approval at both the July 11th and August 1st meetings, and to wrap-up any other outstanding projects in order to make the transition easier on the Board and Staff, and to leave a viable foundation for my successor.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark W. Sweeney, AICP
Executive Director
Shreveport/Caddo MPC"

The move comes after the MPC Board voted 5-4 to terminate Sweeney's contract last week. At the same time, the board voted to renegotiate Sweeney's contract. By default, Sweeney became an "at will" employee right away.

Last week, MPC Commission member Ronnie Remedies joined KEEL News to discuss the votes.

While all of this is going on, there are still conversations inside the City of Shreveport to completely disband the Metropolitan Planning Commission completely. Shreveport City Councilman James Flurry recently joined KEEL News to talk about the idea of getting rid of the MPC, and how it could help the city, in his opinion:

Councilman Flurry spoke openly about changing the MPC, but pointed out that the City doesn't have the jurisdiction to control what happens inside the MPC, even though they have to cover a lot of the MPC costs.