Ex-Chief of Watershed Park to Head Project Division

An environmental specialist who was replaced in a controversial decision as head of Hahamongna Watershed Park has become the city's top official for projects in northwest Pasadena.

Charles Thomas, the city's environmental affairs coordinator, has been named acting northwest manager, officials said Monday.

Thomas will oversee land use, zoning and economic development in the city's northwest sector, the most impoverished area of the city.

Among the projects Thomas will oversee are the Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza and several new housing projects. About 27% of the city's residents live in the area, along with half the community's low-income families, officials said.

Thomas served as acting executive director of Hahamongna Operating Co. from 1994 to 1995 but was then replaced on a permanent basis by Tim Brick. Some environmentalists and African American activists accused the city manager of favoring Brick, a white politically connected friend of council members, over Thomas, an African American with a background in science.

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