WATERVILLE — The city is advertising for a city planner, though Ann Beverage has held the job 33 years.

Ann Beverage is Waterville’s city planner. Contributed photo

Beverage’s position was full-time until January 2015 when then-City Manager Michael Roy cut it  to part-time with no benefits as part of a restructuring of planning and code enforcement duties at City Hall. Her hours went from 40 to 20. She was 62 at the time and had been city planner 26 years.

City Manager Steve Daly said Friday that Beverage was invited to apply for the position that’s now going back to full-time status.

Asked why she was not automatically given the full time job, he said: “I chose to do that to ensure that my duty to the city is met to have the best available person in that position.”

Beverage said Friday that she plans to apply for the position, noting that she has a master’s degree in urban planning and 35 years of planning experience, including 33 in Waterville.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the job, and the city of Waterville is important to me,” she said.

Planning Board chairperson Samantha Burdick said of Beverage, “I’ve always appreciated Ann’s hard work and dedication to the Planning Board and her service to the city.”

Burdick also said, “I am excited that the City Council has recognized the need for a full time city planner and planning department.”

Daly said the position is being advertised through the various New England municipal associations, the International City/County Management Association and the American Planning Association. He said he expects a decision to hire will be made by the end of the year.

The search for a full-time planner comes as Waterville City Hall is also searching for an assistant city manager, a move that’s highlighted the multitude of economic development activity happening right now as Daly looks to focus on long-term initiatives instead of just day-to-day operations. Former City Manager Michael Roy, who had continued to work part-time for the city until June, was helping oversee an $11.2 million downtown revitalization project that’s been spearheaded by Colby College. That project includes a major restructuring of the downtown traffic pattern, as Main and Front streets will be transformed from one-way to two-way traffic. 

Waterville, with a population of about 16,600, is the service center of the upper Kennebec River Valley.

The ad for the planning position says the city seeks “an experienced City Planner with a track record of success in downtown revitalization, zoning redesign and form‐based code implementation, comprehensive and master planning, zoning and subdivision administration, and city administration and planning board subject matter and administrative support.”

Top candidates will be “innovative thinkers, change agents and visionaries” and “will have a work history of seeing ‘what could be’ versus ‘what is’ and proposing positive change options to reach desired development and redevelopment goals called for in adopted plans.”

“They will be creative — looking to the future of the city while respecting its past — and will contribute to management team and legislative decision‐making,” the ad continues. “They will be both an administrator and subject matter expert in supporting the Planning Board through procedural accuracy, project and concept research, effective report writing, and sound advice rooted in education, research, and experience. They will also be capable communicators, both in writing and orally, not hesitant to join in a discussion in a public setting.”

Although the city manager provides guidance and direction, the city planner position “exercises considerable independent professional judgement and initiative in implementing and administering policies and directing work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” the job posting says.

Qualified candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in city and regional planning or a related field with 5-10 years of experience in a local or regional government planning environment, it says. Also, candidates with a masters degree in planning and those that are certified by American Institute of Certified Planners will be given preference.


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