Planning board redirects town planner's focus.Byline: J.P. Ellery
WARREN - The recently hired town planner town planner n → urbanista m/f
town planner n → urbaniste m/f
town planner town n → has ticked off the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Noun 1. planning commission - a commission delegated to propose plans for future activities and developments
commission, committee - a special group delegated to consider some matter; "a committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours" - Milton Berle , prompting the town's Planning Board Noun 1. planning board - a board appointed to advise the chief administrator
governance, governing body, organisation, administration, brass, establishment, organization - the persons (or committees or departments etc. to redirect her focus.
Judith Griggs, full-time town planner for less than two months, has managed to irk the commission by suggesting that hearings be delayed on a downtown improvement project already at the stage of hiring a design firm, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Selectman se·lect·man
One of a board of town officers chosen annually in New England communities to manage local affairs.
Noun 1. selectman - an elected member of a board of officials who run New England towns Marc W. Richard, who also sits on the Planning Board. The first hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Senior Center.
"I guess there was either some misunderstanding or misinterpretation on responsibilities and duties regarding the town planner and the relationship to funding for Pioneer Valley Commission," Mr. Richard said.
"I think the planner was under the impression she has a little more authority that she does," he said. "You just can't call meetings and change things that have been in the works."
He said it boiled down to the commission wondering what was going on when Ms. Griggs attempted to impose her revised schedule on work that was going forward under a timetable already laid out by the commission.
Ms. Griggs, who is paid $42,000 annually, wanted to slow the hearing process, while she and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning regional planning: see city planning. Commission got up to speed on the downtown effort.
"I think they (commission members) thought their toes were getting stepped on and in my opinion justifiably so, when Judy came in overzealous o·ver·zeal·ous
Excessively enthusiastic: overzealous movie fans; an overzealous manager.
o and ended up ruffling some feathers," Mr. Richard said.
A message left on Ms. Griggs' answering machine Friday seeking comment on the matter was not returned.
The commission, based in West Springfield West Springfield, town (1990 pop. 27,537), Hampden co., SW Mass., on the Connecticut River opposite Springfield; settled 1654, set off from Springfield and inc. 1774. Light manufactures include paper, chemicals, and ignition systems. , has for years assisted the town in acquiring more than $5 million in grant funds from the state Department of Housing and Community Development for various infrastructure and housing improvement projects.
"We just assured Pioneer Valley that we hope they continue to do as much for Warren as they've done in the past," Mr. Richard said.
Ms. Griggs, he said, got off on the wrong foot by concentrating on something the Pioneer Valley Commission has been dealing with for years.
"We hired her for direction," Mr. Richard said, "and there are a lot of other things around town to do." Specifically, he said, work is needed on refining and updating the town's zoning bylaw by·law
1. A law or rule governing the internal affairs of an organization.
2. A secondary law.
[Middle English bilawe, body of local regulations; akin to Danish and in implementing the town's master plan, which lays out a blueprint for development in Warren.
Christopher J. Dunphy, senior planner manager of the Pioneer Valley group, who has directed Community Development Block Grant funds for nearly a decade here, took the high road in the debate. He believes things were worked out at a meeting last week and now the commission and Mr. Griggs are on the same page.
"Now that the Planning Board has intervened and very clearly explained what they want us to do, I don't think we're going to have any more trouble," Mr. Dunphy said.
"She (Ms. Griggs) is a very knowledgeable person," he added, "but she probably didn't know how many things I've been actively involved in, and the block grant program has a very clear and precise method of operating and timelines that have to be adhered to."
NAME: WARREN PLANNING BOARD