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Government department shift planned

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Brandon Davis

Current planning and zoning director to take on economic development responsibilities

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- A county government departmental shift is in Shenandoah County Administrator Doug Walker's proposed fiscal 2013 budget.

The plan calls for eliminating the title of planning and zoning director, and replacing it with the director of community development.

Planning and Zoning Director Brandon Davis would slide into the new title.

A former county administrator Vince Poling has been serving as a part-time economic development program manager, but plans to retire at the end of the year, Davis said Thursday, "and we need somebody to do the economic development stuff, and quite frankly, I don't think I can hire a full-time person to do it."

"I'm going to tackle that as well," Davis added.

He would still handle the larger planning and zoning issues, and oversee Zoning Administrator Joyce Fadeley, as well as the erosion and sediment program administrator.
As the community development director though, Davis would also supervise the county's tourism and marketing director, Natalie Wills, and a possible new position.

"There's a discussion about back filling my position with an entry-level planner position to do some planning work," he said.

That worker would work with natural resources, agriculture and long-range planning. Davis said the county's comprehensive plan is a "great document."

"I would like someone with some prowess in that area so they can do some work on that," he said.

Davis called his potential added responsibilities exciting.

"I've been working on economic development issues more and more over the last 18 months trying to learn as much as possible from Vince," he said.

A steering committee was formed last year to work on an economic development strategic plan.

"The purpose of that is to really identify what's feasible for Shenandoah County as far as
economic development and what's not," Davis said. "That economic development process is very important I think, not only from our standpoint, but also from the state's standpoint. I think it's an opportunity for us to make it clear that we are a progressive community that thinks about economic development and that we're willing to partner with the state and the development community for economic development."


Community Development....well doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

All I hear about is budget deficit so I hope there isn't to much development.

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