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Langley's second planner tenders resignation letter; city looks to hire former county public works director

Community planner Fred Evander has resigned his job with the city of Langley.

But the planning department won't be empty once the two-member staff leaves for new jobs in January. Mayor Paul Samuelson said Larry Kwarsick, the former director of public works for Island County and a contract planner for Coupeville, will join city staff on Monday.

Evander, who has worked for Langley since 2007, made the announcement to city staff yesterday. He is taking a job with the Thurston Regional Planning Council, an entity that creates growth-related plans and studies and is comprised of decision-makers from 21 jurisdictions and organizations in Thurston County.

"He will be greatly missed. It's hard for me to spend much time being disappointed for us because I'm so excited for him," said Mayor Paul Samuelson. "Both personally and professionally, it's a great move for him."

"I'm, of course, disappointed he's leaving," Samuelson added. "He's been a real professional in the work that he's done."

"They are losing a good planner," added Langley Planning Director Larry Cort.

"It sounds like he's got a great opportunity. We we wish him all the best," Cort added.

Samuelson said he began meeting with Kwarsick after Cort submitted his resignation letter. Kwarsick lives in Langley, which is home to four generations of his family.

The mayor said he will ask the city council at its meeting on Monday to consider a one-year consultant contract for Kwarsick to serve as director of community planning in Langley.

"Larry comes, as you know, with a tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom," Samuelson said. "He's very gifted and talented as a planner.

The mayor said he expected Kwarsick to keep his contract position with Coupeville.

Cort, who announced his resignation last week, said the planning staff would work to make sure there will be a smooth transition as the current staff departs. Cort has accepted a job offer from the city of Oak Harbor, and the last day for both Cort and Evander will be Jan. 14.

"I know both Fred and I are committed to leaving good information for whatever successor comes down the road," Cort said.

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