Departing Dean staffer sixth to leave Mayor's Office since Feb.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 11:12pm

Chris Bowles, director of Mayor Karl Dean’s Office of Environment and Sustainability, has left for “an opportunity in the private sector,” Dean’s press secretary Bonna Johnson confirmed Tuesday.

Bowles’ exit marks the sixth member of Dean’s office to leave since February, turnover that has changed the roster inside the Mayor’s Office in the early days of Dean’s second term. Dean won his re-election bid in August by a wide margin against three political unknowns.

Four ex-Dean staffers have headed to various state government departments.

“They left for good opportunities, including four who joined Gov. [Bill] Haslam’s staff,” Johnson said in an email. “In a way, that is a compliment. We wish them well.”

Bowles joined the mayor’s office in April 2010. Johnson said Bowles’ final day as the mayor’s chief environmental director was last week.

In addition to Bowles, the following former Dean staffers have exited in the past 10 months:

• Alexia Poe, the mayor’s former director of the Office of Economic and Community Development, left in February to become Haslam’s communications director. Her successor as Dean’s ECD director is Matt Wilshire.

• Toby Compton, the mayor’s former legislative director, left to join Dean’s re-election campaign in March. Compton in June moved to the state Office of Economic and Community Development.

• Jim Hester, former senior advisor in the Mayor’s Office, left to join the Metro Parks and Recreation Department in September as a parks department special assistant.

• Toks Omishakin, the mayor’s former director of healthy leaving, departed in October to join the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

• Danielle Mezera, Dean’s chief education adviser, left in November to join the Tennessee Department of Education as the assistant commissioner of career and technical education.

Staples inside the Mayor’s Office, having served there multiple years, include Greg Hinote, deputy mayor; Janel Lacy, communications director; Marty Szeigis, legislative liaison; and Hershell Warren, a senior advisor.

The Mayor’s Office has added some new faces in the last 10 months:

Tam Gordon, former assistant to Gov. Phil Bredesen, joined Dean’s administration in February as a special assistant to focus on the mayor’s poverty reduction initiative. Janie Conyers, another ex-Bredesen staffer, joined Dean’s office in April to serve as chief administrative officer. Johnson joined Dean’s staff as press secretary in June.

6 Comments on this post:

By: Jughead on 12/14/11 at 8:21

Why do we need someone for "Environment and Sustainability?" SOunds like a stupid, liberal, go "green" waste of taxpayer money.

Hey Karl--let's but a few hundred thousand more dollars worth of stupid Volt charging stations that nobody will use. The California company who produces them sure likes our tax money.

By: Left-of-Local on 12/14/11 at 8:50

Well, Bonehead -er- Jughead... That would be because doing positive things for the air we all breathe benefits everyone regardless of political alignment.

Maybe you should move to Cheatham county or somewhere that has lots of wide open space, clean air, and other backwoods thinkers like yourself.

By: Jughead on 12/14/11 at 1:23

@Left-of-libtard: Continue drinking the koolaid. The best thing you could do for clean air is to not speak--ever again.

I'm glad colossal wastes of taxpayer money doesn't worry you--it should not--because you don't work or pay taxes . Go live in an Occupy Libtard camp and smoke some dope. Don't forget to bathe once a month.

By: spooky24 on 12/14/11 at 4:47

It's the ole rats leaving a sinking ship. Dean's political future after he leaves the mayors office is done for. He used his wife's millions to build a powerful and impressive political machine in Nashville. Now he has no support except that of the inner city and like liberals. Trying to run for state office or even federal office is not within his reach because of all the bridges he burned getting to the mayors office. This includes the total control of the metro council and the Tennessean newspaper who sing his praises everyday-as ordered.
Even more moderate Democrats will pounce on his comments about building a 'gay' agenda which helped him solidify his base in Nashville. You don't need to be much of a political prognosticator to know how well his 'gay agenda' will be treated in other parts of the State.


By: govskeptic on 12/15/11 at 5:38

At least Bowles is going into the Private sector of employment. The others
have just swapped around for other higher paying Metro jobs!

By: Left-of-Local on 12/15/11 at 10:59

Yeah. I don't pay taxes. I also didn't work a 9-hour day Monday or Tuesday. And OH LOOK! There I go taking a moment to put my paper in the recycle bin at the office... and lo... it cost me nothing more than synapses firing and legs walking.

Poisoned mindsets and a poisoned planet. THAT is the issue here.