Bill Cobabe started his job as Morgan County’s new senior planner and zoning administrator Monday, April 28.
“Morgan is an incredible place,” said Cobabe, one of five applicants for the position. “I am excited to be here. It is just beautiful here.”
Cobabe’s resume includes a mix of both planning education and experience. Most recently, he worked as assistant director of parks and community development for the city of Grants Pass, Oregon. Other past employment includes senior planner for Beaumont, Texas; city planner of Mont Belvieu, Texas for five years; planner of Saratoga Springs; and planning intern for Cottonwood Heights.
Certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners, Cobabe earned a master’s degree in urban planning, urban design and environmental planning law from the University of Utah in 2007. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Utah in 2005 and studied at Brigham Young University.
He now lives with his sister in East Millcreek of Salt Lake Valley, but plans to move his wife and children to the Morgan area later this summer. He has another sister living in Utah County and parents living in Rexburg, Idaho. Cobabe grew up in Utah County and graduated from Mountain View High School.
Cobabe is the fifth planner employed in Morgan in the last five years. Charlie Ewert, Morgan’s most recent planner, accepted a planning position in Weber County in February.
“I know the concerns and issues with people in my position in the past,” Cobabe said. “My hope is to put down roots here, and be here for 20 to 30 years. It is important to me to live in the county. I want to be here and have some investment and buy-in, so the decisions I am making affect me and my property values as well.”
Having worked at a small town in Texas, he said he is familiar with the “politics and machinations” of small-town mentality.
“A small town is dynamic because growth and things happen very quickly,” Cobabe said. “There is potential for any one citizen or individual to have a huge impact.”
After growing up in Utah and working in both Texas and Oregon, Cobabe said returning to Utah for employment felt like “coming home.”
Cobabe’s past volunteer experience includes a Boy Scouts of America Scoutmaster for two years, president of a local Lions International Club for over a year, and chairman of a chamber of commerce board of directors for two years. He also speaks Korean.
“I would like everyone to know that I am here for them,” Cobabe said. “Stop in, call or email anytime, about anything. I know growth is a concern for Morgan. They want growth and economic development, but they also want to make sure the grow takes place appropriately, that it is a contributing thing rather than a distracting thing. The people of Morgan want to retain its unique character, not have Morgan become just another bedroom community of Ogden.”