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Boardman planning, zoning director resigns

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

By Denise Dick

BOARDMAN — About 13 months after assuming the job of township planning and zoning director, Benjamin Breniman has resigned.

His last day is March 5.

Breniman, appointed in January 2009 to earn $53,000 annually, plans to return to his home in Clarion, Pa. He worked previously as a shared municipal-services planner in Venango County, Franklin, Pa.

It’s the second resignation in the zoning office in as many months. Peter Ross, who worked as the assistant zoning inspector, resigned in early January, citing personal reasons.

It will leave one person in zoning. A part-time zoning worker was laid off in early 2008.

Spring is typically the busy time for the office, with more permits sought and property-maintenance issues, such as high grass, reported.

Larry Moliterno, trustees chairman, said trustees are considering a restructuring in that office and hope to make an announcement at the March 8 meeting.

“We’re going to move very quickly on that,” Moliterno said.

Though he doesn’t have another job yet, Breniman said he feels comfortable that one of two opportunities will soon come to fruition.

“One is as a military planner in Afghanistan,” he said.

The other is borough manager of a northeastern Pennsylvania community.

“It’s a little bit risky, but I feel like I have enough of a chance that it’s worth the risk,” Breniman said.

If the contract position in Afghanistan comes through, the time between notification and departure is only a couple of weeks, he said.

“I would need that much time to get ready to go,” Breniman said.

If neither of those jobs works out, Breniman said he may start his own planning-consulting business.

He said his time in the township has been educational. Though he formerly served as planning and zoning director in other communities, he considers planning to be his strength.

The Boardman job, however, is more zoning-focused. “All of the planning already has been done in a built-out community,” Breniman said.

Moliterno said that Breniman’s resignation isn’t a surprise.

“Ben has expressed for awhile that he’s had other opportunities he was looking at that were too good to pass up,” Moliterno said. “We decided to give him the time to do that.”

Breniman has done a nice job for the township, Moliterno said.

“I think he would be staying but for those other opportunities,” he said.



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