Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Assistant town planner moves up a rung

By Jason Rowe
Journal Inquirer
May 1, 2006

VERNON - The economic development coordinator and assistant town planner has been tapped by Mayor Ellen L. Marmer to head the Planning Department.

Last week, Mayor Ellen L. Marmer chose Neil S. Pade to serve as town planner, effective Wednesday, May 3.

Pade's appointment is contingent on the Town Council approving Marmer's decision at its Tuesday night meeting.

Pade replaces Town Planner Thomas J. Joyce Jr., who retired at the end of March.

While Pade's salary has not been set, it will be more than the $63,409 he currently is making as economic development coordinator, Finance Officer James M. Luddecke said Monday.

But Pade's new salary will likely be less than $79,424, the maximum salary set-aside for the town planner position, Luddecke said.

A Newington resident, Pade has worked for the town for nearly two years, serving as Joyce's assistant and coordinating economic development.

Pade came to the town in August 2004, after serving as a senior planner/project manager for the Maguire Group in New Britain.

Marmer said Monday that she was pleased Pade would be taking over as town planner.

Pade was one of 15 people who submitted applications for the vacant position.

A recruitment team of several town officials and land-use commission members narrowed those applicants to six.

By the end of April, the recruitment team had ranked the candidates and unanimously chose Pade as their top selection.

Marmer said Monday that she was thrilled when she received the certification list from Town Administrator Laurence R. Shaffer, which had Pade's name at the top.

"From my standpoint, he knows the town very well," Marmer said. "He should be able to hit the ground running."

Attempts to reach Pade for comment Monday were unsuccessful.

Since arriving in town, Marmer said, Pade has developed extensive contacts among the development community and residents.

Because Pade already has a vast knowledge of Vernon, Marmer said, the transition should be smooth.

"I felt it would be a great transition into the town planner's post by someone who has really gotten to know the town," Marmer said.

Marmer said the town would continue to employ the services of interim Town Planner John D. Pagini, who will serve as a consultant for the planning office during the transition period.

The town also will begin looking for someone to fill the economic development coordinator's office vacated by Pade's impending promotion.

©Journal Inquirer 2006