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Committee pegs Whaley-Smith to lead Milwaukee County development

A Milwaukee County committee has given initial approval to confirm Teig Whaley-Smith as economic development director.

The seven-member Economic and Community Development Committee gave unanimous approval Monday, but Whaley-Smith needs the full board’s vote for the confirmation to be official.

County Executive Chris Abele named Whaley-Smith as his nominee in April to replace Brian Taffora. Taffora left the county in December after the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors eliminated his position and recreated it with a different title. That procedural move, based on the board’s concerns over Taffora living outside Milwaukee County, would have forced Abele to resubmit Taffora for confirmation.

In April, Brendan Conway, Abele’s communications director, said Whaley-Smith’s appointment is expected to last until 2016 and come with an $89,000 annual salary. Conway said that marked an increase over Taffora’s $80,000 salary. The increase, he said, was necessary to attract applicants to the position.

Whaley-Smith told the committee he intends to focus on the Park East and is working with the city of Milwaukee for a marketing plan to attract developers to the land. He said he expects to present that marketing plan in June.

— Beth Kevit

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