Joseph E. Hatch began his duties with the city nearly two weeks ago, Planning and Development Director Kelly Lasky said this morning.
“He was the most qualified candidate in both experience and education,” she said.
In all, about nine people applied for the position.
Hatch served as zoning administrator for the city of Petersburg, Virginia, from 2002 to 2012 and was also in project development administration with Rebuilding Together Tri-Cities in Petersburg.
He has also been a planner for the town of Oxford. He received a bachelor of science in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University and a masters of public affairs from Western Carolina University.
Prior to this fiscal year, the position had gone unfunded since 2009 due to layoff.
Lasky told council during budget talks in April the department needed the position to assist her in ordinance administration, enforcement and inspections.
Lasky also told council at the time a staff planner would improve the overall efforts to achieve code compliance through active inspections to improve the community appearance and preserve property values.
It will allow her, she said, to focus on long-range planning efforts and department management.