By Jane Smith
Lawyer Renée Jadusingh became the executive director of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency as of June 29, a promotion from the assistant director’s post she held since 2018.
Jadusingh replaces her former boss, Jeff Costello, who submitted his resignation on May 28. He offered to stay until Aug. 23 “to facilitate a smooth transition.”
But CRA board members decided that Costello would stay only 30 days, as his contract required. Costello, who made slightly more than $146,000 a year, was to have a performance review last month.
The board members voted 6-1 in June to promote Jadusingh, 38, to be executive director with a $145,000 annual salary and a $3,000 annual car allowance.
CRA Treasurer Bill Bathurst voted no because he wanted to conduct a search for the best candidate.
‘I’m very impressed with Renée,” CRA Vice Chairwoman Shirley Johnson said at a June 4 meeting. When Jadusingh worked for the Overtown CRA in Miami, “she visited 450 homeowners and convinced them to move out of their homes temporarily and move back at CRA expense. ... I thank Jeff Costello for hiring her.”
Jadusingh, happy to be promoted, said, “I will benefit from the redevelopment plan that Jeff created from the board’s input. Now, I’ll have to implement the projects.”
She will oversee 13 employees, including the Greenmarket manager and Arts Warehouse director. The CRA area covers one-fifth of the city, mostly along Atlantic Avenue east of Interstate 95 to the ocean.
The agency is embarking on an ambitious plan to clean and complete the alleys in the Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods. It also is negotiating with a developer, BH3, to redo 9 acres in the 600 to 800 blocks of West Atlantic.
Jadusingh became the assistant director in February 2018. She was making $110,000 in that position.
Previously, Jadusingh spent 3 1/2 years as the staff attorney for the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency in Miami. She negotiated and drafted general business contracts, housing restrictive covenants, construction contracts and other legal documents.
In 2012, she graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens. She sits on the board of the Florida Redevelopment Association.
Costello, 55, said it was “a good time” for him to leave. “I’m glad they promoted from within the CRA.”
After 30 years with the city, including 12 at the CRA and more than four as executive director, he will take some time off to spend with his two teenage sons. Between his previous city planning job and the CRA assistant director’s position, he spent two years at New Urban Planning in Delray Beach.
He will stay in Delray Beach, but he declined to say what his next job will be.
At his last board meeting on June 11, the board members and staff treated him to an Oreo cake from Publix and a card.
“God bless,” Costello said, “and thanks.”