Less than a year into his tenure with the City of Prince Albert, the city’s director of planning and development has resigned.
© Herald file photo
The city's director of planning and development Rick Stuckenberg recently resigned from his position, it was confirmed on Friday.
Disappointed to see Rick Stuckenberg leave the city so early into his tenure, Coun. Rick Orr said that he hopes to see the position re-filled as quickly as possible.
“I was very excited about the dynamics and the education and industry background that Rick brought to the city and we were starting to make some good headway,” Orr said.
“I trust that our city manager Jim Toye will find an excellent replacement to move our agenda forward on economic development.”
Toye confirmed that Stuckenberg resigned last week due to personal reasons related to his family and some interests back in Alberta, where he lived prior to starting work at the city last August.
With the economic development department down a few of its top positions, Toye said that re-filling the department will be a “top priority.”
“It’s a priority that we get these positions filled and we get good people who are going to fit in with the people we’ve established here, so far,” Toye said.
A planning manager and economic development manager are also currently being sought, he said -- two long-vacant positions he hopes to see re-filled to bolster the city’s economic development efforts.
A decision will be made some time next week regarding how these three positions will be filled, be it internally or with an external firm.
“We want to make sure that in everything we do as a city we’re able to offer good service -- that’s what we’re about,” Toye said.
“We serve the citizens of our community, and we want to make sure that when we have developers and people who want to invest that we’ve done some good planning … and we’re trying to create an atmosphere where people are wanting to expand their business.”
I was very excited about the dynamics and the education and industry background that Rick brought to the city and we were starting to make some good headway. Rick Orr
The city’s website describes the planning and development director as the person responsible for the overall allocation of land, resources and infrastructure “in order to provide for the physical, economic and social health of the community.”
The department is responsible for creating the conditions that will result in a “thriving economy.”
Earlier this year, Stuckenberg ushered in the adoption of the City of Prince Albert Economic Development Strategic Plan, which he helped develop.
One of Stuckenberg’s latest projects was drafting a tax incentive policy for consideration during this year’s 2015 budget considerations.
"It's been an interesting assignment to help guide council on how to grow the city sustainable and help promote infill development," Stuckenberg said a couple months ago.
"Infill development is important for enhancing the viability and the character of existing neighbourhoods.
"New investment in old neighbourhoods help promote the neighbourhood as a place for people to live and work and also to use existing parks, schools and walkways."
Orr is chair of the Prince Albert Regional Economic Action Committee, which last held a meeting on Nov. 29, 2013.
He said that there are not currently any meetings on the horizon, with the group waiting on direction from Mayor Greg Dionne.