Lakewood Hiring New ‘City Planner’ Position

The position — in the city’s planning and development department — will pay between $46,000 and $65,000.

During the past two years, the city’s department of planning and development has been somewhat under-staffed. 

And with a reported $60 million in development on Detroit Avenue alone during that time, the workload hasn’t gotten any lighter.

On Monday night, city council OK’d the creation of the new ‘city planner’ position. 

Two years ago, the city merged the director positions for the departments of planning and development with building and housing.

Dru Siley, who was named the head of both departments, said his previous post (of assistant director of planning and development) went unfilled for two years.

Another project specialist post wasn’t filled after a retirement in the department.

“We had an opportunity to consider how our department is organized and we developed a position that’s a modification of the assistant development director,” Siley said. “Based on our workload, our department is interested in filling the position as quickly as possible.”

The position will pay between $46,000 and $65,000.

“Our goal is to be as lean as possible, but to have the right number of staff in the right positions,” said Siley. 

The city is now accepting applications, however Bryce Sylvester, who was hired last year as a project specialist, has applied and is a likely candidate for the post.

Sylvester has worked on several key city initiatives, including the Lakewood Master Bike Plan and organizing the Community Vision Workshops.

M-F Schreiber December 05, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Best of luck, Bryce! I think you'll bring much enthusiasm to the position.
Cindy Marx December 05, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Bryce - you are perfect for the job! You and Drew create great energy for the city!
ian king December 05, 2012 at 08:03 PM
HI- I am all for hiring the right people to do the right job for the city, at the least expense. But something doesn't add up here. Wasn't the merging of the two depts done in 2011? Only a year ago and not 2 years ago as the article states? And wasn't there a significant increase in salary for this new director merged position? So, will there now be a decrease in Mr. Siley's $80,000+ salary a year --- since his position and job duties have been changed again? Also, a small city the size of Lakewood, it seems that part of the planning is the job of ALL elected officials, the Mayor, Council, etc.? How will adding a new person create more growth, better planning in Lakewood? It seems we need more police patroling our declining neighborhoods - particularly 117th corridor - than more office staff in City Hall. And regarding planning - the signage cooridination has been successful, but actual streetscape is horrible and unintegrated. For instance, why are the bus stops in front of eddie and eddie on detroit so different than anywhere else in the city? though they are creative, it is wierd and out of place with an overall planned approach to city street experience. I guess I am unclear what impact a new position called city planner will have since I don't see much thought/integration or visual coordination on our streets.
Allen Guenthner December 05, 2012 at 09:38 PM
"City planners often study their city's population and current use of land through surveys, field investigations and other research methods. Other duties require preparing reports regarding the locations of different infrastructure, as well as population characteristics. City planners use their reports and community input to plan how the city's land should be used. They may also plan public transportation systems if necessary. City planners spend much of their time interacting with other professionals. They may need to hold public meetings with government officials, land developers, lawyers, special interest groups, and the general public to develop or address issues regarding city land use. They may hear proposals and recommend denial, approval or conditional approval, as well as make changes as necessary. City planners must also defend their own proposals before legislative committees." Being a Landscape Architect, your concerns seem to be slanted more toward design than towards a city planners job description. While a planner may describe and/ or prescribe a certain set of standards that a designer must adhere to, it is the job of a landscape architect to carry out the details of a master plan or comprehensive plan created by a city planning dept. While I completely agree that lakewood's public amenities seem "piecemealed" together, a set of standards needs to be created and then implemented before any solution can be reached regarding those un-integrated amenities.
Colin McEwen December 06, 2012 at 06:03 AM
You're right, Ian. Thanks for pointing that out. When Nate Kelley resigned, the "director" post went unfilled until Dru Siley took it; then his old job (asst director) has been unfilled since. Thanks again for pointing that out. Also, you raise some interesting points, however, I am certain that there are fewer folks in the planning and development office than when I started Lakewood Patch (almost two years ago to the day).


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