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Transitioning to New Leadership & Looking to the Future

New Leadership takes Helm at Talent Urban Renewal Agency

Hello, Talent! Almost one year ago, I penned those same two words – hello, Talent! – as I stepped into the role of City Manager here in town. Now, eleven months later, I feel honored to pen those words again, this time as the executive director of Talent’s Urban Renewal Agency.

(Please note, I’ll affectionately refer to the Agency as TURA for the rest of this article to save myself some typing…)

For the past two years, Jon Legarza and his consultant business, Healthy Sustainable Communities, filled the role of TURA’s executive director. Under his leadership, Jon helped the agency establish a transitional housing program for fire-impacted families at TURA’s Gateway Site, started a grant program to promote planting trees on private property, and worked with the TURA Board to create a proposal for a new urban renewal district. Last month, Jon opted to get some well-deserved rest and focus on projects closer to his home in the Portland area.

So, what am I doing writing this article to you all? Although TURA is a separate organization from the City of Talent, our work is closely aligned. The TURA Board (composed of Talent’s city councilmembers) decided to have City staff provide the administrative services for the urban renewal agency, including executive directorship.

So… Hello, Talent! As I and other City staff get up-to-speed on TURA business, we hope to share what we learn with you. We’ll start by sharing the basics as we understand them – how urban renewal works, the history of urban renewal in Talent, and the recent discussions about a new urban renewal district. In future articles, we hope to share more details on what TURA does and how you can provide direct input on shaping TURA’s future. Outside of these pages, we invite you to attend a TURA meeting (first Tuesday of the month), visit the website (, or swing by City Hall.

Here’s to working – and learning – together for Talent,

Jordan Rooklyn and City Staff

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