After more than a year in office — and despite a campaign promise to have the position filled by April 2007 — Governor John deJongh has still not hired a St. John planner.
While an initial job posting in local newspapers by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources netted no acceptable candidates, according to Government House officials, deJongh promoted the position once again during his State of the Territory Address on Tuesday evening, January 22.
“On St. John, we funded the principal planner position and are again advertising the position,” the governor said during the speech. “We have met with the Urban Land Institute so that they can assist us in jump-starting the planning process once the St. John planner is on board.”
“The role of the principal planner will be paramount to our project analysis and execution in resolving the issues of Cruz Bay parking, taxicab dispatching, relocation of the Sprauve School, public land usage, marina development and affordable and moderate-incoming housing,” deJongh continued.
In the first concrete step toward filling the position in months, government officials are now advertising for the position on the American Planning Association’s Web site.
Job posting 35942 on www.planning.org announces an opening for a mid-level principal planner on St. John. The posting is advertised by DPNR and the department’s Division of Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning director Wanda Mills-Bocachica is listed as the contact.
The position is listed under the Urban Design category, with a salary range of between $55,000 and $75,000. The posting requests three to five years of experience.
The candidate would perform “advanced technical planning and design-related work in coordinating major projects and activities for the Division of Planning, Department of Planning and Natural Resources,” according to the job posting.
The ideal planner would serve “as the primary subject matter specialist in select areas of assignment to include: hillside development guidelines; land use and density studies; long range planning; urban design; transportation planning; conflict resolution regarding identity politics and differences over the use of property; in addition to other planning related concerns,” according to the Web site www.planning.org.
The job “requires knowledge of the principles, practices and methods used in urban planning; knowledge of development related issues and concerns; the practical aspects of zoning; project management and organizational principles,” according to the job posting.
A graduate degree in urban planning and American Institute of Certified Planners certification are preferred.