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County planning director steps down

Article Date: 
31 January, 2014 (All day)

Morgan County is accepting applications for a new full-time planner after Charles Ewert, planning and development department director, gave his notice of resignation after accepting a principal planner position with Weber County.  His last day on the job was Thursday, Jan. 30.
“I have loved it in Morgan,” Ewert said.  “I have great coworkers and the residents are great.”
In the last five years, Morgan County has employed four different individuals in its top planning spot.  Sherrie Christensen left the county in 2009.  Grant Crowell served as planning director from March of 2009 to January of 2012.  Blaine Gehring stepped in from March of 2012 until Charles Ewert was hired Nov. 26, 2012.
Before being named Morgan’s planning and development services department director a year ago, Ewert had been employed with the county for four years.  He worked under Christensen, Crowell and Gehring before moving up the ranks to accept the department’s top spot.
The open position was advertised on the county’s website beginning Jan. 27 with a Feb. 11 closing date.  The position pays between $19.52 to $21.70 an hour, plus benefits.  The new planner will work under the supervision of the Morgan County Council providing technical planning assistance and performing county planning duties relating to zoning, long-range planning and ordinance drafting.
The county hopes to find a candidate with four years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in planning, geography or a similar planning-related field.
Until a new planner can be hired, other county employees will fill in temporarily to make sure the department runs smoothly.  Dave Manning will take over addressing, contracted county engineer Mark Miller will handle flood plain issues, and Ronda Kippen and county contractor Bruce Parker will handle zoning issues.
Morgan City’s planning commission is also getting an overhaul.  Just prior to passing away from cancer Jan. 16, Chairman Duane Stock resigned.  He had served as chairman for 10 years, and was on the commission for three years before that.
On Tuesday, the city appointed Robert Lynam to fulfill the remaining two years of Stock’s position.  He will serve until Jan. 1, 2016.
Commission Vice President Steve Gale did not renew his position.  At the same time, Commissioner George Francis moved from a regular commission member to an alternate, a capacity he is set to fill until Jan. 1, 2016.  Jim Brown, who was previously serving as an alternate, was appointed as a regular member Tuesday.
 The city appointed Ernie Durrant for a three-year term, until Jan. 1, 2017.  Doug Garfield and Dave Griffith were both appointed to the commission for another four years, to serve until Jan. 1, 2018.
The Morgan City Planning Commission has seven members and two alternates.  All commissioners serve at-large positions with staggered terms.  The commission will choose its chairman and vice chairman at their March meeting.