A longtime fixture on Buda’s city staff is planning to depart for the private sector.
Buda Assistant City Manager of Community Development Chance Sparks, who has worked with the city of Buda for eight years, announced earlier this month he is leaving to work with a “nationally recognized planning and engineering firm.” David Marino, Buda public information officer, said Sparks’ last day is Dec. 12.
Sparks informed city staff in November of his departure. Marino said the city’s interim plan is to have employees that worked under Sparks be directed by another staff member until a new person is hired.
Buda plans to go through its normal protocol for hiring a new assistant city manger, which includes posting the position and narrowing down candidates for an interview. A timeframe has not yet been set as to when a new assistant city manager will be hired.
Sparks was initially hired by Buda in 2010 as the city’s Director of Planning. In 2016, Sparks became one of two Assistant City Managers for the city.
Several key highlights during his tenure include updating the city’s Unified Development Code, as well as helping to craft the Buda 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Both received numerous planning and development accolades. He also helped to create the Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Master Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, and development of a traffic calming policy.
In a statement, Sparks said he came to Buda with “several goals” to assist the city in preparing for its future through “thoughtful, innovative planning as it faced extraordinary growth pressures.” He added he was proud of the fact that city officials often invoke “something from an adopted long-range planning document.
“I am tremendously proud of what this community has accomplished in these eight years, including several regional and state recognitions,” Sparks said.
He also said Buda has become an exemplar of planning in recent years and doesn’t lose its character, even with growth pressures surrounding it.
“Planning isn’t about planners, it’s about community,” Sparks said. “It’s about acknowledging the needs of the community of today and preparing for the community of tomorrow.”
Prior to joining the city of Buda, Sparks served as the Planning Manager for the city of San Marcos and Planning & Development Director for the city of Bulverde, among other positions.