Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
New assistant planner to be in place by January

By Jason Rowe
Journal Inquirer
October 30, 2006

VERNON - The understaffed Planning Department should soon be getting a much-anticipated helping hand.

At its Nov. 21 meeting, the Town Council is expected to formally hire the assistant town planner/economic development director.

The new employee would fill the vacancy created last spring when former Economic Development Director Neil S. Pade was promoted to the town planner's post.

Shortly after Pade's promotion, the town began the process of seeking applicants to fill the position.

But that process was short-circuited weeks later as the town struggled to adopt a 2006-07 budget at referendum, and the Town Council voted to defer the hiring of Pade's replacement until January.

The deferment allowed more than a $32,000 reduction in the proposed budget.

Although she would not identify the planner she will recommend, Marmer said the person would start after Jan. 1.

Marmer said she interviewed several candidates whose names were submitted by a hiring committee made up of Pade, members of the land-use commissions, and human resources staff.

And while it will take some time to train the new assistant town planner and bring him up to speed on the workload, Marmer said the new economic development director should be a major help to Pade.

"He's drowning," Marmer said of the town planner's workload. "It will be nice to have someone come on board."

©Journal Inquirer 2006