BERLIN - The town is working without a director of development services as of Friday, Oct. 6, according to Mayor Mark Kaczynski.
Kaczysnki said Hellyn Riggins, who gave her two weeks’ notice to resign prior to her departure from the position, wanted to move on from the town but didn’t want to make public what she left for.
“Hellyn was great,” said Kaczynski on Friday. “She always had the interest of the town first and foremost in her mind.”
Riggins was hired in March of 2003 after starting her planning career in Brentwood, Tennessee, for eight years and then in Madison, Mississippi, for 10 years, according to the town’s website. She is a graduate of Auburn University, received a master’s degree in Public Administration from Tennessee State University while working for Brentwood and is a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners, which required her to obtain continuing educational credits each year to maintain, the website also stated.
Kaczynski said the plan is to shift the responsibilities of the vacant position to assistant Town Planner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Maureen Giusti, who was first hired by the town in 2008 as assistant planner and then rehired in 2012 as zoning enforcement officer/assistant planner, according to town’s website.
Plans also include hiring a potential consultant the town has identified to help with the workload in Riggins’ absence, he added. Kaczynski was unable to say how much the consultant will cost.
“Maureen is very capable but we want to give her some help,” said Kaczynski. “It’s way too much work for one person.”
He said the town will advertise the position and anyone with relevant experience and knowledge can apply.
“It’s a complicated area, very important to the town,” said Kaczynski. “We’ll have to find the right person.”
According to the town’s website, Development Services oversees the Planning, Zoning and Building departments and is responsible for land use permits, zoning information and the plan of conservation and development, which guides planning and zoning decisions for the following three years.
“We wish Hellyn well,” said Kaczynski. “We’ll work on filling her position.”
Riggins did not return a request for comment. The next Planning and Zoning Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.