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Search underway for new county planning director

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Former Chaves County Planning and Zoning Director Marlin Johnson speaks during an August 2017 meeting. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Chaves County is looking for a new planning director following the resignation of a department head.

Marlin Johnson left in early February to become the city planner for Susanville, California, in the northern part of the state.

The open position has been advertised on several different job sites and the county has received one application so far, said Human Resources Director Susan Goldstrom.

She said qualified applicants will be interviewed by a committee and that no closing date has been set so far on the application process.

“We have left it open so that we can get some good candidates,” Goldstrom said. “We want to fill it as soon as possible.”

Annual salary depends on the person’s qualifications, she said, with Johnson earning “in the 70s.”

Johnson had been with the county for seven years during two different stints, from January 2015 to February 2019 and from August 2009 to August 2012. In between, he had worked as the city of Roswell planning director for about eight months. He also has worked with planning departments for cities and counties in other states.

Mary Rogers has been named interim director of the Chaves County office. She has been serving as the assistant planner since March 2017.

The planning department, which includes the director and three employees, has authority over flood plain management, zoning, subdivision regulations and rural addressing for properties in Chaves County that are outside of the city limits. It also provides administrative support for the Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Commission and the Public Lands Advisory Council.

Goldstrom said that the Planning and Zoning department will now report to Public Services Director Bill Williams, but other changes, should they occur, would be determined by whoever fills the post.

“Everybody who comes in brings something to the job,” she said. “We will have to see.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.