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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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    Detroit Land Bank chief resigns; interim appointed

    The Detroit Land Bank Authority’s leader has resigned after four years at the helm. 

    Executive Director Saskia Thompson is leaving the agency to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a news release from the agency. 

    The authority’s board voted unanimously to authorize Chair Erica Ward Gerson to enter into a “transition agreement” with Thompson and also an agreement with Deputy Executive Director Tammy Daniels to take over as interim executive director.

    Since July 2017, Thompson has run the quasi-city agency, which is tasked with managing city-owned properties and until 2020 helped run Detroit’s massive demolition program. 

    Thompson resignation was effective today. It is not clear what the transition agreement will entail. Thompson’s contract says she is not entitled to a severance if she resigns and is required to give 30 days notice. Daniels will make $174,000 a year in the post. 

    Thompson couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

    “We appreciate Saskia’s service to the DLBA and wish her well in her future endeavors,” Gerson said in a news release.  “We’re entering an exciting new phase at the land bank, where our focus can shift to offering enhanced opportunities for Detroiters to purchase our remaining structures, finding new and innovative uses for our vacant land holdings, and supporting our thousands of buyers through the renovation of their homes.”

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