Winslow Way manager takes new deputy planning post

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Chris Wierzbicki has had quite a run at City Hall. In about a year, Wierzbicki has served in the planning department, was interim city engineer and has lately run the Winslow Way revamp, one of the biggest projects in city history.

Today, Wierzbicki was named to the newly created post of deputy planning director.

He’s also an accomplished drummer and trumpeteer, as I found while searching for a photo of the guy. Maybe he’ll form a band with Finance Director Elray Konkel, who used to tour as a bass player before his money-crunching days. That, of course, begs the question of what they’d call their band. I’ll leave that to your imagination…

See my story about Wierzbicki’s new job below.

Wierzbicki moves into new lead planning role

Downtown planning manager Chris Wierzbicki was named on Friday to the newly created position of deputy director of planning and community development.

Wierzbicki, who bested six other candidtates, has served the city for the past year and has filled-in as acting city engineer for a few months.

City Administrator Mark Dombroski praised Wierzbicki’s engineering background, planning expertise and connection to the island.

Wierzbicki received a civil engineering degree from Pennsylvannia’s Villanova University and a masters of science in community and regional planning from Temple University in Philadelphia.

The city administration proposed deputy planning director position during the 2008 budget process.

The position will focus on the operational side of the planning department, Dombroski said.

“(Wierzbicki’s) focus will be on creating smoother permit processes, better customer service, and codes that are easier for staff and the public to understand and use,” he said.

The city recently launched an initiative to update and streamline its complex land use codes, and is looking at expanding the update to cover procedural regulations and rules governing subdivisions and zoning.

Mayor Darlene Kordonowy called the new positon “a wonderful opportunity for the city to ratchet up our responsiveness.”

Wierzbicki’s appointment follows the resignation last week of planning department director Greg Byrne, who has accepted a post in Albany, Ore. Kathy Cook, division manager for downtown planning, will serve as Interim director until Byrne’s successor is chosen.