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Tucson city planning director resigns after 2 months

With just a bit more than two months on the job, the head of Tucson's Planning and Development Services Department is set to leave for a post back in California. Manjeet Ranu started here in early February, and will resign before the end of the month for a post in Los Angeles.

The move "is a testament to the caliber of employees that we've been able to recruit" here, said Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega. "It's a great opportunity for him."

Ranu had been the acting planning head for the city of Encinitas, Calif., before taking the Tucson post starting Feb. 6. He had abruptly left that job last November, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities after a reportedly rocky tenure.

Ranu replaced former Tucson planning director Nicole Ewing-Gavin, after he was picked in a national search. Prior to the Encinitas position, he worked in El Cajon and San Diego.

Ranu will become the top planner for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. His final day with Tucson will be April 26, and he'll start his new job the next day, city officials said.

Assistant City Manager Albert Elias told members of the City Council that "while Manjeet enjoyed serving the city and found great opportunities here, along with a very supportive environment, he determined that the position with Metro is best for his family."

City administrators "know that Manjeet's decision is both a challenge and an opportunity for the city organization as well as PDSD staff," Elias said in a memo.

Ortega said in an interview that Ranu's leaving won't have a dramatic effect on the city's efforts to recruit news businesses.

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"The foundation of that is really with the staff .. they'll continue to carry us," Ortega said.

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Manjeet Ranu