A key City Council committee today approved Mayor Betsy Hodges’ nomination of Craig Taylor to head Minneapolis’ department of community development and regulatory services.

Taylor has headed the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business and Community Economic Development and Business and Technology Center for the last dozen years, previously serving as a manager of corporate small business development at Xcel Energy. He also directed the city’s Office of  Women and Minority Business Enterprise for four years.

Ten people showed up to testify before the Committee of Community Development and Regulatory Services in favor of Taylor’s appointment, including university colleagues.

Kris Lockhart, who is associate vice president for equity and diversity at the U, described him as a visionary who empowers others and mentors staff.

“He can see the big picture, but he’s also got what it takes to see the details to get to the end result,” she said.

Taylor vowed to examine every business decision, program and partnership by considering Hodges’ three priorities for Minneapolis: making the city run well, helping the city grow, and improving racial equity.

He now awaits a vote by the full City Council.

Council members will also hold a hearing soon on Hodges’ nomination of Spencer Cronk to serve as city coordinator. The mayor will submit the nomination at Wednesday’s meeting of the Executive Committee.