Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Mayor taps Mattoon as Planning & Development director

Date: 5/16/2012

May 16, 2012

By Debbie Gardner

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The town has finally fulfilled a provision of the Home Rule Charter left vacant for 11 years.

On May 4, Mayor Gregory Neffinger appointed West Springfield's current Building Inspector, Douglas P. Mattoon, as the town's first Director of Planning & Development. Mattoon was scheduled to take over his new duties at 9 a.m. on May 14.

"I think the Home Rule Charter cannot be taken lightly," Neffinger said in reference to his push to add this new position to the town's government structure. "This is the will of the people. Many people were involved in creating the Charter [which says] there has to be a Planning & Development Director."

During a May 2 press conference on the town's proposed fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget, Neffinger explained that the addition of this new position was designed to organize the various town departments involved in the planning, designing and permitting of new and existing business ventures in West Springfield. Mattoon will be overseeing the Planning, Building, Community and Economic Development and Conservation and Engineering departments as well as the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning and Construction Committee and Conservation Commission. His salary, according to the proposed budget, is projected to be $81,950.

"Anyone coming into the Planning & Development Department will be able to get their questions answered, get a time frame [for a project], costs involved, and other such in formation," Neffinger said.

Mattoon was among 30 individuals, both from within the town offices and from across the country who applied for the position. Neffinger said that after reviewing many of the applications, it became clear that the town's in-house candidates "were just as qualified if not better qualified" than most of the out-of-town applicants, and four current employees were interviewed for the position.

Mattoon, who like Neffinger is a trained architect and had also served on several of the committees he would oversee, presented qualities that the mayor noted set him apart from the other applicants.

"We felt Mattoon's experience, design background and involvement with the construction industry gave him the qualifications to create this new department, to organize it and eventually lead it," Neffinger said.

The mayor added that both he and Mattoon are "very excited about the opportunities that are available" for the town's economic advancement through the addition of this new position.

Beyond streamlining planning and development procedures in the Municipal Building, Neffinger said Mattoon would be charged with exploring "opportunities that [the town] has missed over the years that would benefit residents, benefit businesses, protect our natural resources . and improve our economy."

He added, "We're both native West Siders and both have been trained in the field of architecture and I think we're going to work well together to bring the town of West Springfield forward."

Mattoon said he hoped "to use my education and experience in making improvements to the town for both residents and businesses, [for] economic development and to preserve and protect the character of [West Springfield.]"

A West Springfield High School graduate, Mattoon attended Keene State College in New Hampshire and obtained a bachelor's degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute, N.Y. He has served as a board member on the town's Planning and Construction Committee and Planning Board, as a Town Meeting member, a Parks & Recreation Department coach and on the Youth Sports Association Board of Directors.

Bookmark and Share