Renfrew's new full-time planner.
Renfrew’s new planner, as of Feb. 11, is Ivan Burton.
Renfrew will soon have its first full-time planner in five years.
Steve Sterling, the town’s last full-time planner, left in 2008 to become director of planning for Mississippi Mills.
Since his departure, the town has used the part-time, contracted services of Julie Stewart, with Macintosh Perry Consulting Engineers out of Perth. This typically involved work two days a week.
Five years ago, there was a lack of suitable candidates to fill the vacancy after Sterling’s departure, said development and works director Mike Asselin.
But last fall, five candidates were short-listed for the position before the town hired Ivan Burton, a planner with Clarence-Rockland, just east of Ottawa, in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.
Staffing the municipal staff with a full-time, contracted planner would not have been an economical option. The new hiring will result in costs similar to the previous arrangement for contracted, part-time services, said clerk Kim Bulmer.
Having a full-time planner again is welcomed, said Asselin. “It’s pretty much cost-neutral, but the hiring enhances our level of service,” said Asselin, knowing the part-time planner was usually available to meet only on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“With a full-time planner, we can pretty much do planning five days a week and advance work on a regular basis.”
The bilingual Burton will start as Renfrew’s planner on Feb. 11, 2013. He will handle official plans, zoning bylaws, site plans and subdivision applications, and be involved with such special policy development issues as wind turbine.
Burton will serve as secretary of the committee of adjustment and work closely, as administrative support, for the planning advisory committee.
Prior to his hiring, Burton met in December with Bulmer, Mayor Bill Ringrose, planning advisory committee chair Jim Miller and committee of adjustment chair Gail Cole.