COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – After 34 years serving the City of Columbus, Planning Director Rick Jones is retiring. Mayor Skip Henderson described Jones as a family man who has shaped Columbus into the city it is today.

Columbus landmarks like the Chattahoochee Riverwalk and busy streets of Broadway, didn’t exist when Jones was brought on back in 1988.

Jones tells News 3, “I mean, there’s a lot that I feel like we’ve accomplished over these last 34 year. Uptown is completely different than it was when I first started back here. It used to be a ghost town for the most part and now look at it today.”

Those who worked closely with Jones highlight the time and attention to detail he took for each project.

“In another life he could have been an educator because he took time to train me when I was brand new. You know, he would take time to kind of explain to me the way things work. And he’s just always been so willing to try to coach up the counselors to make sure that they understood exactly what the planning process was.”

Skip Henderson – Columbus Mayor

Jones credit’s the city’s progress to each member of council that has served over the years.

“I didn’t do this by myself. It took a lot of effort to get folks to come to the table and talk about things and deal with things.”

Rick Jones – City Planning Manager

After the passing of his wife, Kay, Jones became the primary caretaker for their son. He says he looks forward to the quality time with him. Mayor Henderson tells News 3, family has always been the number one priority for Jones and says its inspiring.

“I think what people need to know is just what an incredible husband he was and what an amazing father he is. I think he has helped set an example for a lot of us to aspire to.”

Skip Henderson – Columbus Mayor

Jones won’t be gone quite yet. Jones tells News 3, “I was very reluctant about leaving because there are still some things I want to accomplish and feel like I need to fulfill and just finish out before I really call it quits.”

The City is holding onto the wealth of knowledge Jones brings to the table and he will be part time as they transition someone into the position. Mayor Henderson says nobody will ever be able to replace Jones as he has left his mark on our city.