L&I Commissioner leaving to head PICA

Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Fran Burns is stepping down to take a job as executive director of Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), Mayor Michael Nutter has announced.

Burns was appointed commissioner by Nutter in August 2008 and had previously served as deputy commissioner of the department since 2004. She had also held positions as assistant managing director and assistant budget director.

The department, which was often criticized by developers and residents for the amount of time it took to issue permits and respond to violations, has improved response time under Burns’ leadership. It has also made an effort to crack down on absentee or negligent property owners.

“Fran Burns is a consummate professional and a great public servant,” Nutter said in a statement. “Fran is honest, hard working, dedicated and an innovator. She has transformed the Department of Licenses and Inspections beyond what even I had originally envisioned.”

Burns will head back to PICA, where she worked prior to joining city government. She will now be responsible for reviewing the city budget and five-year plan.

There is no immediate word on her replacement.

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