Saratoga County

Wilton finds its first planner in Clifton Park

When the town of Wilton decided it needed its own full-time planner, it only needed to look a few mi

When the town decided it needed its own full-time planner, it only had to look a few miles south to find the best candidate.

Kate Maynard has been planning director for Clifton Park since 2006. But she, her husband, and two young children live in Wilton, so taking the new planning job there is like coming home, Maynard said.

“It’s a great move,” she said. She said this is an important time in the development of Wilton, a growing Northway corridor town of about 13,000 residents.

She said being planning director in Clifton Park, Saratoga County’s largest municipality, with nearly 38,000 residents, was a great experience.

“It’s a very busy town,” Maynard said about Clifton Park.

She “broke the news” about her new job to Clifton Park town officials on Tuesday, she said.

Clifton Park officials were ‘initially surprised,” she said. When she explained why she was leaving, she said they understood and “had nice things to say about my two years in Clifton Park.”

She said she will stay on as planner in Clifton Park for another month so there is a smooth transition there.

Maynard said the daily commute from Wilton to Clifton Park was a factor in taking the Wilton position.

She will make the same salary, $61,700 per year, in Wilton as she did in Clifton Park, according to Wilton town Supervisor Arthur Johnson.

Johnson said Keith Manz has been the town’s director of planning and engineering for well more than a decade. But Manz is a professional engineer and more and more of his time is being consumed by engineering issues, such as the new MS-4 drainage regulations and the town’s expanding road system.

“We need someone who can focus clearly on the planning aspect,” Johnson said.

Maynard is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a master’s degree in regional urban planning from the State University of New York in Albany.

The town board believes the town needs a full-time planner to help guide prospective developers through a variety of new town laws.

In addition to the town’s relatively new zoning regulations, there are state-mandated storm water drainage regulations as well as new town-level guidelines for open space and parks and recreation, according to town officials.

The town placed advertisements for the new planning position in early January and interviewed a variety of candidates.

“Most towns of our size have planners,” Johnson said, including Malta, Clifton Park, and Halfmoon.

At present the planning process is divided among the planning and zoning department, the building department and Manz’s office, according to deputy town supervisor Raymond O’Conor.

“There really wasn’t a person whose complete focus was on the planning process,” O’Conor said back in January.

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