Mark Rhoades Joins Exodus

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 10, 2007

Berkeley Planning Manager Mark Rhoades is headed for the private sector, the third high level city official to vacate his position in city government. 

His resignation, announced today (Tuesday, July 10) follows the earlier resignations of Transportation Manager Peter Hillier and Housing Director Steve Barton. 

Though he’d known about the departure for several days, Planning Director Dan Marks said the news had come as a shock to him. 

“We will really miss his institutional knowledge, his passion about Berkeley and his passion about planning,” said Marks. 

A sometimes-controversial figure who has clashed with neighborhood activists over large-scale development projects, Rhoades has spent nearly a decade on city staff and had recently received a 10 percent pay boost. 

While Marks noted that Rhoades, who turns 40 this year, was one of his younger staff member, Planning Commissioner Gene Poschman quipped that the planning manager was likely retiring because of old age: “The say one year of working in Berkeley is like eight years anyplace else.” 

Rhoades had combined both the current and zoning aspects of the planning department along with future planning, uniting two previous positions. Marks said he didn’t know if a new employee would fill both roles. 

In his letter to city staff, Marks said Rhoades said, “He came to this decision with great difficulty after concluding that he needed to pursue employment opportunities that allowed him to spend more time with his young family.”