Susan George has named a new Planning Director and we have hope that the planning process will improve. Despite the fact that Susan George mentioned several times in open COWncil session that she wasn’t very happy with the pool of applicants, we are optimistic that the new Planning Director is a big improvement over our last Planning Director. We hope she is a problem solver and will treat everyone fairly. We urge her to remain independent and professional.
Our new Planning Director is Jackie C. Young who previously worked for the City of Campbell in Santa Clara County. She had initially been hired as the Principal Planner by Campbell, and according to Susan George, she has been functioning as the acting Community Development Director for the past twenty months. Susan George reported that she has both a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Design and a Masters in Urban Planning from San Jose State. She has had nine years of experience in the private sector and thirteen years in the public sector – previously working for Santa Cruz County, Scotts Valley, and Mountain View in addition to Campbell. Mayor Romines reported that the COWncil had met Jackie were very impressed and really excited to have her join the staff.
Jackie’s interest in historical preservation was described in the Campbell Reporter. More articles on Ms. Young’s (née Young Lind) can be found here . Susan’s full description of Jackie’s background will soon be available on MooTube.
Campbell is a larger and more urban city than Woodside. According to Wikipedia, Campbell has a population of around 38,000 people, more than 7 times Woodside’s population in an area only half the size, making it much more dense than our Town. Campbell is also surrounded by San Jose on two sides. It neighbors Monte Sereno* which is much more like Woodside. Campbell planning department has a reputation for working with applicants.
It sounds like Susan George is going to immediately assign our new Planning Director a number of important new projects. As part of the update of the 2008-09 Work Plan, she has been assigned the up-date of the Historical Preservation Element and Housing Element of the General Plan.
We welcome Jackie Young to our COWmunity and wish her well in her new role as our Planning Director.
*Corrected; thank you blogger!