Stonington begins searching for new planning director

Stonington — Twenty-one months after the death of former Director of Planning Bill Haase, the town has begun the process of hiring his replacement.

Just $39,576, funding for about half the position, was included in the 2012-13 budget as town officials debated whether it was needed. The Board of Finance included $40,000 in the current budget so it could be funded for half the year beginning in January. But with applications not due until Feb. 12, the new director will likely not be in place until just a few months left in the fiscal year.

Since Haase’s death, First Selectman Ed Haberek has served as the acting director of planning. Haberek, who has included $87,040 in his proposed 2014-15 budget to fully fund the position, did not respond to questions about the hiring process. Town Planner Keith Brynes has taken over some of the director’s work since Haase’s death.

The job description states that it is a non-union position that requires 35 hours of work per week and pays $80,000 to $85,000 annually. The director of planning works under the direction of Haberek. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree along with eight to 10 years of land use experience, a minimum of three of which must be in a supervisory capacity.

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