Cheyenne City Councilman Dr. Mark Rinne has been chosen as the new President of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board of Directors.

Rinne will assume office on July 1, replacing Hans Seitz as board president. Seitz had served as board president for two years, and his term on the board was scheduled to run until June 30, 2017.

Mayor Rick Kaysen will nominate someone to replace Seitz's vacancy on the board, and the Cheyenne City Council will have the final word on the appointment.

The board unanimously chose Rinne, a dentist and long time city council member to replace Seitz as board president. Rinne had previously been board vice president and the city council liaison to the DDA.

DDA Executive Director Amy Surdam on Friday defended the choice of Rinne as board president against charges of cronyism and conflict of interest, saying other city council members had served as DDA board president in the past.

She said Rinne was the only person considered for the post and would help improve relations between the board and the Cheyenne City Council.

She also pointed out that even though he is board president he is only one of nine board members and one of four on the executive team adding "I don't expect any kind of dictatorship" with Rinne as president.

But she also admits that among some people there is a 'perceived conflict" of interest in having a ci9ty council member also serve as DDA board president.