Middlebury seeks new town planner

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury is busy recruiting a new town planner in anticipation of having a finalist ready to start by the beginning of next year.
At the same time, Middlebury is redefining the functions of its planning and zoning staff as it works to hire a successor to Fred Dunnington, who served as the community’s town planner for more than three decades. Dunnington retired on July 1 after having spent the majority of his tenure as the administrative point person for both organizing long-range planning and processing development applications.
But local officials have drafted a new job description that leaves no doubt about what the new planner’s responsibilities will be going forward: It’s going to be all about planning, leaving day-to-day office operations and the processing of development applications under the oversight of the director of planning and zoning, Ted Dunakin.
“We are looking for someone who can bring people together, who will reach out to different constituencies to achieve consensus on issues related to the town plan,” Dunakin said of qualities being sought in the new hire, who will join him and part-time Zoning Enforcement Officer Tom Scanlon in the office.
An official job description describes the job as “a full-functioning professional planning and development position that involves administering the current planning programs of the town and extends to participation in functional or project planning, as well as long-range and master-planning activities. Work is performed in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices and with state law and town ordinances.”
 Specific responsibilities include:
•  Serving as principal staff person for the planning commission.
•  Drafting proposed revisions to the zoning bylaws, subdivision regulations and town plan.
•  Assisting the planning commission with written correspondence, research and other assignments.
•  Ensuring the town plan remains current while conducting studies to implement the town plan.
•  Identifying policy issues that should be addressed in the town plan, bylaws, or other policy documents.
The position will be overseen by the director of planning and zoning. The salary range is $42,000 to $48,000 per year.
Dunakin is hoping to see more applications roll in.
“There has not been as much interest as we had hoped,” Dunakin said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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