This whole planning director thing, let’s face it, is just odd.
Christopher Ryan, former Town Planner for Walpole, MA is Mayor John Moak’s choice for Planning Director for Newburyport, Massachusetts.
It’s very odd that the Town of Walpole posted the job for Planning Director this Tuesday, July 25th (see earlier posts.)
I would agree with the comments about Christopher Ryan’s website, www.4pointsplanning.com. Many of the links to the other pages did not work on my computer either (although they seem to be working better today.)
And, I have a few reservations about the fact that Christopher Ryan will be teaching a course during September and part of October of this year. Let’s face it, it’s not good to have a Planning Director gone 3 afternoons a week, unless of course the goal is to not have the Planning Director around.
And the fact that Mr. Ryan would only be working 30 hours a week during that period is not a good sign.
For anyone hanging around the Planning and Development Office in Newburyport, MA, it becomes obvious very fast that the City Planner, the Senior Project Manager and the (former) Planning Director work around 80 hours a week at least… one of the things I have admired about the top people in the Newburyport Planning Office is that for them, planning and development for Newburyport, Massachusetts is as much a vocation and a dedication as it is a job. I would hope for no less from Christopher Ryan.
We desperately need a Planning Director to “hit the pavement running,” not one that will take a stroll on it every now and then, which would happen those first couple of months.
It will take 6-9 months (at least) for the new Planning Director to figure out all the players, much less all the all the myriad of projects that the Newburyport Planning Office is dealing with. It would be my preference to have someone who could give 100% plus commitment to the job right off the bat.
And is Mr. Ryan going to keep his consulting business going while he is Planning Director for Newburyport?
Is Mr. Ryan going to continue to take time off to complete his PhD. And wouldn’t it be much better to have someone in this position who already has completed all necessary education. And is having a Ph.D. candidate in environmental studies as Planning Director a good thing? I don’t know.
It’s just not me, but I think many readers of the Newburyport Political Blog wonder if Christopher Ryan is indeed “marquee talent” that Newburyport, Massachusetts so deserves.
So I’m hoping that the Newburyport City Council asks lots of hard questions, because it appears that hard questions are in order. And I’m counting on all our local media outlets to find out as much as possible about Christopher Ryan and as well as the hiring process for Planning Director. And I’ll be interested in what the readers of the Newburyport Political Blog are or are not able to discover.
And I would also like to add that it couldn’t hurt for the citizens of Newburyport, Massachusetts to give their City Councilors a call if they have any questions about Mr. Ryan’s qualifications.