Island County looks for planning help to meet comprenehsive plan deadline

Seeking to strengthen a planning department that has endured much turnover, Island County is seeking a consultant, assistant director of planning and a long-range planner.

The county wants to hire a consultant by Feb. 19 to help update its Comprehensive Plan by the June 30 deadline, the Board of Commissioners said this week.

The consultant, who will report to interim director of long-range planning Keith Higman, must meet a long list of requirements, including knowledge of state growth-management case law and hearings-board findings, technical expertise in critical-area ordinances and knowledge of several state laws.

Familiarity with Island County is preferred. The contract, for an unspecified dollar amount, will run through early or mid-March through the commissioners’ adoption of the Comp Plan.

The assistant planning director would coordinate long-range planning activities and help the planning director run the department.

The ideal candidate would be familiar with the Growth Management Act, the Shoreline Management Act and numerous other laws, according to the job description posted on the county’s website. A master’s degree in urban and regional planning is preferred.

The job carries the pay grade NR-17, meaning a 2016 annual gross salary of between $66,577 and $79,927.

The long-range planner would be responsible for implementing the Planning Enabling Act and the Growth Management Act in the county. He or she could come in at the associate, senior or principal level, at pay levels 12 through 14, respectively.

Those equate to hourly wages of $22.02, $23.05 and $25.70, respectively.

The multi-pronged job search follows the unexpected departure of Principal Planner Brad Johnson Feb. 5 and the abrupt ouster of Planning Director Dave Wechner in October.

Long-range planner Amanda Algren left the staff in September.

These numerous and key departures have resulted in concerns that the county might not complete its Comp Plan on time.

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