In accepting new employment, Bill Cobabe will leave two holes in the Morgan community: County Planning and Development Department director and Morgan City Council member.
Cobabe accepted the full-time county planning position in November of 2014. However, he was first hired on in the county as a senior planner and zoning administrator in April of 2014, when IT Director Jeremy Archibald was temporarily serving as the department’s director.
Cobabe was chosen to replace Shelly Betz on the Morgan City Council in September of 2015 after drawing lots. Because the city council could not reach a majority vote when choosing between Cobabe and Danny McBride, state law called for the drawing of lots.
In almost three years, Cobabe said he has come to love the people of Morgan, who have changed his life. This is a big reason why he and his family have decided to stay on as residents of Morgan City.
“I’m grateful for my chance to serve and learn and grow. It’s been one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life, and the people I’ve gotten to know have truly changed my life,” Cobabe said. “I love how engaged folks are up here, as it has made my job so much easier. I never had to guess what people were thinking or what they wanted their community to look like.”
As a current resident and now former county planner, Cobabe has bright hopes for Morgan’s future.
“As far as planning in Morgan County, I think we’re in a very strong position. I feel like we’ve made real strides towards realizing a bright future for the next 20 years, and we’ve laid a groundwork for perpetuating our values and desires far beyond that as well,” he said. “We’ve made some real strides and I’m very pleased with the level and quality of interaction we’ve had with the public. We’ve focused on making each interaction between our department and the public one of service and respect, trying to develop relationships with everyone we talked to or worked with in any way.”
Morgan County is actively seeking for Cobabe’s replacement. The county’s online job posting lists pay at between $31 and almost $39 an hour, depending on experience, with full benefits. Working hours will be from Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The position will be open until filled.
The position calls for a minimum of a high school diploma, although a master’s degree is preferred, along with five years of experience in the “administration of development codes, planning policies and procedures in a rural environment.”
The new planner will be responsible for the management, coordination and policy implementation of all aspects of planning and development within Morgan County. As the lead planning advisor working under the supervision of the county council, the candidate will also function as the county zoning administrator, floodplain administrator and addressing administrator.
As the county’s senior planner, the new employee will coordinate current and long-range planning, general plans, ordinance development, and enforcement of development and zoning codes.
He will oversee the work in the planning division as well as the activities of the building division, chief building official, and Geographic Information System (GIS) division. He will also create and manage the department’s budget.
The job description listed providing good customer service and pursuing means of streamlining the development process as part of his duties, as well as properly monitoring and tracking applications. Job responsibilities also include providing detailed information to applicants to make it clear which requirements are necessary to obtain permits as well as feedback when their applications are turned down.
The job posting also notes the county’s planner “participates as a leader in a management team responsible for the administrative affairs of the county” as well as “advises in the executive and legislative affairs of the county.”