by Lisa Tome
Eric Sennstrom is ready for a new challenge.
Instead of overseeing one county department, Planning and Zoning, he will now be charged with the task of overseeing three departments newly consolidated into one.
Last week, County Executive Alan McCarthy announced that a new department - Department of Land Use and Development Services, will be established. Current county departments, Planning and Zoning, Permits and Inspections, and the plan review division of the Department of Public Works will be merged. "This reorganization will result in greater efficiency with the plans review and permitting processes by bringing all employees that administer this function together in one place," said McCarthy.
There won't be changes in the layout of the Cecil County Administration Building. The areas are already interconnected in non public portions of the building. Three department of public works staffers will be moved. One vacant position, a permit clerk's post in Permits and inspections won't be filled.
County officials stated that this is designed to keep residents and contractors from doing business in three different county offices. There was a desire for simplification of the process.
The new department is supposed to be up and running in less than a month - by May 1.
Sennstrom, longtime Planning and Zoning Director was tapped to head the department. Kordell Willen will be Chief of Development Plans Review. Pat Conway will serve as Chief for Permits and Inspections. Tony Di Giacomo will be Chief of Planning and Zoning.
"We're always striving for the best service and the most streamlined process," said Sennstrom.
This is one step in the planned enhanced automation of the permit review process to be rolled out by the county in December.
Al Wein, Director of Administration for Cecil County, said that McCarthy will continue to evaluate other county departments for potential consolidation.