Potential Candidate Tapped for St. John Planner Position

More than a year and a half after making a campaign promise to hire a city planner for St. John, the John deJongh Administration has identified a potential candidate, according Government House spokesperson John Greaux.
“The planner has formally accepted the governor’s appointment,” said Greaux. “But he has not submitted all the required paperwork so we don’t have an anticipated start date at this time.”
Since the hiring is not official, Greaux declined to provide additional information about the potential hire, he added.
With ongoing congestion, parking and unchecked development woes plaguing Love City, the search for a planner has been a long one. In January 2007 St. John inauguration speech Governor John deJongh promised to have a planner on board by his first quarter.
Government officials faced several delays in trying to fill the position, including defining the job description, where the office would be based and to whom who the person would report.
The Department of Planning and Natural Resources ran an advertisement for the position in August 2007 which did not net any suitable candidates. Almost six months later a second advertisement was posted on the American Planning Association’s Web site.
The deadline for submitting applications was March and in April DPNR’s Division of Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning Director of Planning Wanda Mills-Bocachica compiled a short list of candidates for the position.
DeJongh reviewed the candidates and had the final decision on hiring a planner. Once on board, the principal planner — the official position title — will be based in DPNR’s St. John office on the third floor of The Marketplace.
The planner will advise DPNR officials on St. John-specific issues, Mills-Bocachica previously told the St. John Tradewinds.
“What we anticipate is that the principal planner will provide information on problematic areas such as hillside guidelines, density studies, transportation circulation issues, congestion and overall quality of life issues,” said DPNR’s director of planning.
Government House officials expect to release additional information shortly, according to Greaux.