Part Time Lansing Planner Search In Progress

Jun132014
planning_120Two weeks ago the Lansing Town Board voted 3-2 to not hire a full time planner.  Since that time board members have been crafting a new job description for a part time planner.  Councilman Ed LaVigne told the Planning Board Monday that a part time position will be posted this week.

"When we have a proper candidate I would like you to be involved with that conversation," he told planning board members.

23 people spoke in favor of hiring a full time planner just before the board decided against going forward with the hire, even though they had previously budgeted for the position and conducted a search that had yielded a successful applicant.  Some proponents of a full time planner worried that the quality of applicants for a part time position would not be as high as for a full time position.

Councilman Robert Cree said that is not proving to be true.  He told the Planning Board that Town Board members have spoken to planning professionals, and said there is considerable interest in a part time position. 

"These people are very interested, but unfortunately they're also very busy," he said.  "But Lansing is exciting to them.  The three or four that we've talked to haven't said 'No, I want nothing to do with part time or consulting.'  It's 'Let me hear about it and let me think about it.'  They've all come back and said correctly, 'I don't think I would do Lansing justice based on my current commitments.'  I'm looking at that in a very positive manner."

"I think it would be nice if we could see somebody dedicated rather than just filling 20 hours on a calendar," said Planning Board Chairman Tom Ellis.

"They take their business very seriously," LaVigne said.  "And they take pride in what they do."

Town officials had to word the job description to meet Civil Service requirements.  Planning Board members said they are anxious to work with a planner again. 

"It has not been negative," Cree said.  "I take that as a very positive thing.  We will find somebody."

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There used to be more than 20 schools in Lansing, and some still exist today, though not as active school houses.

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