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Hi-Ho Hi-Ho

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
Greetings from sunny South Mississippi. I am the sole Planner for a county of about 72,000 pop. That means that I handle everything from housing to transportation to grants to mapping to media and public appearances when my bosses are too busy. I am also the first Planner hired by Forrest County in 94 years of existence. I will say that I thoroughly enjoy my job and the opportunities that it presents. I am a self-confessed workaholic and perfectionist. I have enjoyed browsing the forums and look forward to sharing with all of you.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,670
Points
56
I feel bad. Here, everyne is swamping to say "hi" to those who openly identify themselves as being part fo the female persuasion, while people just give others a passing "hey." C'mon, folks, we have a sole planner here ...

Anyhow, I don't know how you can be a sole planner for an entire county of some 72,000, unless there is really very little development. I'm a sole planner for a town of 1,450, and I'm SWAMPED. Then again, I do both current and comp planning, code enforcement, some building inspections, IT administration, and Web site maintenance. Regional meetings regarding annexation, land use, transportation or transit -- I gotta' be there. We never had a coherent planning file system, and between all the duties of a rapidly growing town (got ten SF building permits this week, which essentially means that the town's population increased by 2% in ONE WEEK), I'm trying to create a decent filing system, with case numbers, sub-folders for different steps in the development review process, and so on.

If you think my town is small, there's a town about five miles up the road from here, population about 700, with a full-time planner.

The city I live in, a suburb of Orlando with a population about 25,000, has about five full-time planners.
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
Thanks Dan, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to get a "real" response to my introduction. Please allow me to clear up the mystery of a single Planner in a county of 72,000 people. We have two municipalities in the county with a total population of about 50,000 which leaves about 22,000 in the unincorporated areas that I work with.

I am the first Planner that the county has hired. I have had the pleasure of setting up a new office and department and trying to establish planning policies in a county with a 94 year history. Needless to say, it has been a challenge. There was some political resistance to planning at first but I think that we have worked through those issues effectively.

As with most planning positions (especially single Planner departments) my role here is extremely varied. I handle most of the grants for the county (with the exception of law enforcement). I also handle just about any issue that deals with state or federal regs or guidelines including solid waste and environmental issues. I am also the "go to" man for special projects such as reporting processes to FEMA after natural disasters. In addition, I serve on our local MPO, Downtown Association, Education related boards and committees and other special interest groups. I also serve in an advisory capacity to several utility districts and private water associations.

So yes, I too am swamped 99.99 percent of the time. However, the work is productive and more times than not rewarding. In addition, the board has increased my salary almost 18% in the last 18 months with another $2,500 increase scheduled for October 1st. Not bad for a lowly "sole" Planner.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
jestes wrote:
Greetings from sunny South Mississippi. I am the sole Planner for a county of about 72,000 pop.
County planning in a southern state. Been there, done that... good luck.

Welcome to the boards, and I'm quite sure we'll hear you ranting from time to time!
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
jestes wrote:
Please allow me to clear up the mystery of a single Planner in a county of 72,000 people.
Must be hard working for all your cousins....

JUST KIDDING. Welcome to Cyburbia!
 
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