REORGANIZATION SEPARATES PLANNING, PUBLIC WORKS OFFICES
Four years after the two were combined, Clatsop County’s public works and planning offices will become independent departments again.
On Wednesday the county board of commissioners approved a plan to dissolve the Transportation and Development Services Department, created in 2007 as an umbrella entity for the two offices.
Under the plan, Transportation and Development Services Director Ed Wegner will return to his original position as Public Works Director, which he first assumed in 2004. Hiller West, hired in September as principal planner, will head the Community Development Department. The change will become effective Jan. 1.
County Manager Duane Cole said the reorganization, by assigning a manager to each of the two departments, will bring better oversight to both offices at a time when each has a sizeable workload, including the various long-term projects in the draft county Strategic Plan.
Cole praised Wegner’s tenure as Transportation and Development Services director, which included the lengthy Bradwood and Oregon Pipeline liquefied natural gas land-use reviews conducted by the planning office.
“We’re excited to be getting him back over at Public Works,” Cole said. “They have a lot of projects going on, and Ed is the guy for that.”
Cole noted that West has a lengthy background in planning, including an early job with the Columbia River Estuary Study Task Force. He most recently served as planning director for the city of Monroe, Wash.
Citizens should see no change in services. Both offices will remain in their current locations – Community Development at 800 Exchange Suite 100 and Public Works at 1100 Olney Ave. – and keep their same hours.
The reorganization involves no other personnel changes. There are 45 fulltime-equivalent personnel in the various Transportation and Development Services divisions, including Community Development, road maintenance, building codes, surveyor, fisheries and parks.
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