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Reorganization creates a new city department

January 20, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The City of Hagerstown on Friday announced a reorganization of city Planning Department that includes having one employee, Deborah Everhart, leave to create a new Office of Economic Development.

Everhart, a city employee since 1978, is the zoning administrator, a development planner and the city economic development coordinator. Starting Feb. 1, Everhart will work full-time as the city's economic development director.

Her salary will remain at $55,101, city officials said.

The city decided to create a new office instead of having Everhart serve in the position full-time in the Planning Department as a way to emphasize the fact the city is making economic development a priority, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said.

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The change will free Everhart to concentrate on attracting new businesses to Hagerstown and retaining existing businesses, Mayor William M. Breichner said.

In early December, the city named Kathy Maher director of planning and economic development. Maher was the city's senior planner for more than seven years.

With the promotion, Maher's annual salary increased from $48,818 to $56,597, city spokeswoman Karen Giffin said. Ric Kautz, the former head of the department, was making $68,432 when he retired on July 26.

Breichner said there had been discussion about reconfiguring the Planning Department before Kautz retired.

The city has also restructured two other positions. A senior planner position, currently vacant and being advertised, will become a comprehensive planner, Giffin said. The job will pay $38,000 to $55,000 annually, Giffin said.

A planner position held by Megan Gedney will be upgraded and reconfigured to development planner and zoning administration.

The person in that position will be responsible for coordinating the city Preservation Design District Commission and administering the Zoning Ordinance, among other work.

Gedney, who has been with the city since January 2002, makes about $37,000, Giffin said. Her salary will be increased to in the range of $38,000 to $55,000, she said.

"The restructured positions in the Planning Department will allow us to better clarify duties and to hire individuals who have the specific skills and expertise for these positions," Maher said.

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