COWmending Kaplan

February 2, 2009

As we reported in the COWncil Roundup for January 13th, Interim Director of Planning and Building Irwin Kaplan was given a well deserved sendoff and tribute in honor of his work with the Town. Everyone we herd from was impressed with Irwin’s professionalism and handling of the job.

We feel that the hiring Irwin Kaplan definitely qualifies as one of the Town’s better decisions. In light of that, we thought we would transcribe the text of the proclamation honoring him, as well as a few of his words. You can watch video of the ceremony on Mootube here.

Peter Mason read the text of the proclamation, after being nagged by Carol Ann Hodges to “stand up” while he did it, and refusing on the grounds that he would “fall over” because of the awkwardness of the size of the award.

“Whereas Irwin Kaplan first graced the Town of Woodside Town Hall in the year 2000 when he accepted an interim appointment as Deputy Town Manager for Community Development, and

“Whereas Irwin Kaplan became totally familiar with the operation of the Planning and Development Department during that stint at the town and offered suggestions for restructuring and improving the delivery of departmental services, and

“Whereas in June of 2008 when the Town found itself in need of launching a recruitment effort for a new Director of Planning and Building, Irwin graciously acquiesced to the Town Manager’s entreaty in that he return for an encore performance and take over the reins as Interim Director in early August.

“Whereas Irwin brought to the Town an impressive strength of professional and life experience and lead the Town ably during the months of his recent tenure.

“And whereas Irwin’s considerable wisdom has been gleaned from the many components of his life, from his days at the education at Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School and then Columbia University of New York, to his years of experience at a variety of community agencies, including the State of Connecticut, the cities of Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Orinda, Manteca, Saratoga, San Jose, Clear Lake, just to name a few.”

Irwin interjected, “I can’t hold a job,” and there was a round of laughter.

“And whereas during the last five-plus months Irwin has shared that wealth of experience of his life with those at the Town and its environs which wealth extends beyond the practice of planning to sculpture, painting, music, politics and other philosophies, and the occasional joke.

“And whereas now Irwin has completed his latest tenure at the Town and has returned to his position as Director of Policy, Planning and Strategic Development for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, his friends and colleagues at Town Hall miss his warmth, humor, his intellect and the benefit of his ready advice.

“Now therefore I Peter Mason, Mayor of the Town of Woodside on behalf of the Town Council, the staff and residents of the Town of Woodside, do hereby commend Irwin M. Kaplan and extend our greatest appreciation and thanks for his exemplary service as Interim Director of Planning and Building.”

There was sustained applause following Mr. Kaplan’s commendation and he then received the award from the Mayor, as well as another keepsake (an old trail sign) from the Town Manager marked Irwin Kaplan, Planning Director Emeritus, Town of Woodside. Irwin then made a few COWments to the Town, all generally appreciative of his experience at the Town and of the Town staff.

We also want to add our thanks to Irwin Kaplan for all his hard work on behalf of Woodside, and salute him as one of those public servants who make life better in our Town and make things run smoother and fairer. We think the new Planning Director, Jackie Young has big shoes to fill (not Hope Sullivan’s, who was run out of Town on a rail, but Irwin’s). We hope she follows his example of strong, independent, professional service to the Town.

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