Douglas Hires Interim Planner To Replace Kilpatrick While Assessing Future Needs
Following the recent departure of former zoning administrator and director of community development Ryan Kilpatrick, City of Douglas officials declared they had lost an invaluable individual and all his contributions to the city were going to be a challenge to replace.
At Monday’s city council meeting, city officials announced they had started that process with the hiring of interim planner Lynee Wellson through the firm Williams & Works..
However, the city does not yet know when it will hire someone permanently to replace Kilpatrick.
“We are going to see (what and who we need) down the road. What we need is to evaluate and assess what exactly our needs will be. Do we need a part-time or a full-time position? There is a lot to determine yet,” Douglas City Clerk Jean Neve told Observer Newspapers Tuesday.
Wellson will have office hours every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Douglas City Hall. She will also be assisting the city in coming up with a comprehensive land-use plan as well as a much needed updating of the city’s sign ordinance.
The language over signage rules need to be a lot less ambiguous and a lot more uniform, city officials have determined.
Besides Williams & Works, an engineering and planning firm based in Grand Rapids, the city will contract with Michigan Township Services to help it through the next few months.
The former will focus on zoning enforcement while the latter will assist in planning commission matters.
The planning, organizing and promotion of various city-related events, all of which fell under Kilpatrick’s job responsibilities, will be picked up by city staff.
The city has worked with Williams & Works before, and in fact, it was that firm which Kilpatrick worked for and who assigned to the city before Douglas officials hired him as its very own.
After a five-year tenure, Kilpatrick’s last day with the city was January 20. He began work the next day at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. in Region 4 as an assistance team member.
He said he would still be looking out for Douglas, but from a different level, as region 4 does include Allegan and Ottawa counties.