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Langley turns staff toward boating future

Jack Lynch has been Langley’s city planner for so many years that he can’t remember exactly when he was hired.

In February, about 22 years after he became the city’s planner, Lynch will hand his longtime duties over to a city employee to devote his time to planning the expansion of Langley’s Small Boat Harbor.

This week, Lynch will become the Langley Small Boat Harbor project manager. To fill his previous duties, Pete Friedman, the city’s land use coordinator, will assume planning duties in addition to his current workload.

Langley Mayor Neil Colburn said the change makes good sense for the city.

“It’s been in works for over a year,” Colburn said Tuesday. “That just seemed like a good fit.”

In order to understand how much the switch would cost in employee wages and costs to the city, the Langley City Council put off a decision two shift the planning job for two weeks. The council will make the change at its meeting tonight.

Overall, the city will spend more money with the change. As a planner, Lynch’s salary was paid out of the city’s general fund. Now, he will be paid $21,600 a year out of the Small Boat Harbor Fund, which currently has a balance of $31,000. The fund is supported through moorage fees.

For taking on planning duties, Friedman will earn $4 more per hour for an annual salary of $40,668. In 2003, the city paid a total of $49,098 for land use and planning positions.

In an interview last week Friedman was optimistic about the change, but was surprised it happened so soon. He did not expect Lynch to retire from his planning position until the end of 2004. But he said it will fit in nicely with the work he already does for the city.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Friedman said. “I think it’ll work out. By and large it’s a lot of what I’ve been doing all along.”

Friedman said he expects his position — which is scheduled for four days per week — to become a full-time.

Friedman was hired as the land use coordinator in March when long-time employee Jerry Knapp retired after 14 years with the city.

In an interview Friday, Lynch was also looking forward to his new responsibilities. He said the city’s drive to expand its harbor need oversight.

“Somebody on the behalf of the city needs to focus on it or it just won’t happen,” he said.

Lynch said the move to project manager was a logical step for him personally and the city.

“Obviously I’m still going to be here and can help transition with the things going on,” Lynch said.

With the plans for the Small Boat Harbor moving ahead, the city and developers are working towards designing a final plan scheduled to be finished by the end of February. Langley could begin applying for state grants as early as March to fund items such as improving its boat ramp and Phil Simon Park.

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