The Planning Department staff has a total of 10 members.  The staff is active in numerous community organizations and always welcomes an opportunity to speak with groups and individuals about community issues.

Jeff Bergman has served as City of Columbus – Bartholomew County Planning Director since the fall of 2004. Jeff grew up in Clinton, Iowa and moved to Indiana to attend Ball State University.  Jeff is a graduate of Ball State’s College of Architecture & Planning with a bachelor  and a professional degree in community planning.  Prior to joining the Columbus – Bartholomew County staff, Jeff was an Associate with Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects, where he facilitated community planning projects in cities, towns, and counties across Indiana.  Jeff’s prior employment also includes roles as Planning Director for the City of Franklin, Indiana and Assistant Planning Director for Johnson County, Indiana.

Department Staff – Organizational Chart (PDF) 

Jeff Bergman, AICP
Planning Director
E-mail: jbergman@columbus.in.gov

Melissa Begley, AICP 
Assistant Director
E-mail: mbegley@columbus.in.gov

Laura Thayer, AICP 
MPO Director / Transportation Planner
E-mail: lthayer@columbus.in.gov

Emilie Pinkston, AICP 
Senior Planner
E-mail: epinkston@columbus.in.gov

Chelsea Cottingham, CFM
Floodplain Manager
E-mail: ccottingham@columbus.in.gov

Ashley Beckort 
Senior Planner
E-mail: ashleybeckort@columbus.in.gov

Stephen Hughes
Associate Planner
E-mail: shughes@columbus.in.gov

Noah Pappas
Associate Planner
E-mail: npappas@columbus.in.gov

Andres Nieto
Associate Planner
E-mail: anieto@columbus.in.gov

Janie Meek 
Office Administrator
E-mail: jmeek@columbus.in.gov