After a comprehensive, nationwide recruitment effort, City Manager Maraskeshia Smith appointed Gabe Osburn as the director of planning and economic development. With a career spanning 27 years in local government at the City of Santa Rosa, Mr. Osburn has demonstrated leadership and expertise within multiple operational and development departments, showing his commitment to advancing the City’s growth and prosperity.
Since 2015, Mr. Osburn has served as the deputy director of development services in the Planning and Economic Development Department. He spearheaded the creation and execution of pivotal programs and services crucial to the City’s developmental objectives, and his involvement in numerous residential, commercial and industrial land-use and development projects, coupled with his instrumental role in managing the City’s reconstruction program after the 2017 Tubbs Fire, highlights his dedication and capability in addressing critical community needs.
Notably, his recent role as acting director of the Planning & Economic Development Department has broadened his expertise in overseeing all departmental functions. In addition, his years of experience at the City he has fostered collaboration between the development community and multiple City departments, harmonizing policies, fees and practices to drive holistic and sustainable land development. His strategic contributions have facilitated the delivery of high-density, transit-oriented housing downtown, which marks a significant milestone in the City’s developmental roadmap.
Furthermore, Mr. Osburn’s involvement in spearheading the rebuilding program post the Tubbs Fire stands as a testament to his commitment to community service and his ability to orchestrate and manage multifaceted initiatives. His stewardship in developing and implementing recovery programs, effectively managing budgets and actively engaging with the community has received widespread acclaim and recognition, setting unprecedented benchmarks in disaster recovery efforts nationwide.
In his own words, Mr. Osburn expresses a profound enthusiasm and passion for shaping the community’s growth trajectory through effective community engagement, policy formation and program implementation. His wealth of experience in steering the Planning and Economic Development Department and directly managing the Engineering Development Services division has honed deep understanding of the department’s intricacies and core mission.
Mr. Osburn holds a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from California State University, which provided an interdisciplinary approach and comprehensive understanding of community dynamics.