Blainehires former Ferndale planning director

Published on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 by ara Nelson

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Blaine hires former Ferndale planning director

By Tara Nelson

Blaine’s planning and development department is slated to improve its level of service, Blaine community development director Terry Galvin said.

In addition to allocating additional funds to hire part-time planner Alex Wenger to a full-time position, the city also hired Tom Black, a former planning director for the city of Ferndale, after he was recently fired in an alleged backlash over a letter criticizing Ferndale mayor Jerry Landcastle.

He will join Blaine’s planning department on May 1 with an annual salary of about $60,000.

Black, who was employed by the city of Ferndale since 2000, had stated in a letter that he planned to resign April 27, but was fired this Monday, just four days before his last scheduled day of work.

In his letter, Black stated that Landcastle had attempted to “dominate every level of government” and, on several occasions, made attempts to discredit, belittle, or force Black from his job.

Blaine community development director Terry Galvin said in addition to Black’s experience, he knows him as a professional, ethical planner who “values both friendships and professional relationships.”
“I think there will be a significant improvement as a result of him coming on board,” Galvin said.

He added in the past, the city’s planning department has had a small, overworked permit review staff and that the addition of another staffer will create a stronger development review process.

“I’ve spent a lot of time and energy working with the community planner and that takes a tremendous amount of time away from my other responsibilities,” he said. “This will allow me time to do the things I was hired to do, which is long-range planning and management.”