Concord City Planner Gloria McPherson resigns
City Planner Gloria McPherson is leaving Concord for Cape Cod.
McPherson, who has been Concord’s city planner for two years, will begin a new job later this month as town planner for Provincetown, Mass.
“I’ve really loved my two years in Concord,” she said yesterday. “It’s a great city to work in and the people that I’ve met have really become friends. But this is an interesting opportunity from a planning perspective because there’s currently no town planner in Provincetown – it’s a new position.”
Deputy City Manager for Development Carlos Baia, who is McPherson’s immediate supervisor, said he learned of her new job about 10 days ago.
“Her heart’s been in Massachusetts – that’s where she came from – and she has an opportunity there to . . . be the first town planner they’ve had in quite some time,” Baia said.
The city will post a job listing for McPherson’s position within the next week, Baia said. He hopes to interview finalists in December and have the next city planner begin work in January.
Baia said he would like to hire a planner who “can understand the community, has some management skills, is willing to . . . really make a significant effort to just get to learn everything. And I think Gloria did that, actually.”
The city planner oversees the planning division and delivers reports to the city’s planning board.
McPherson, 47, began working for the city in late October 2011, after former city planner Doug Woodward retired earlier that year. He had worked for the planning division from 1974 to 1987, and again from 2001 until his resignation in 2011.
Woodward told the Monitor in 2011 that he quit because Baia tried to influence his advice to the planning board with a pro-development bias. At that time, Baia and City Manager Tom Aspell declined to comment on the details surrounding Woodward’s departure because it was a personnel matter.
Before coming to Concord, McPherson worked as vice president for land development at Kohl Construction in Massachusetts. She had previously worked as a planner for the city of Northampton, Mass., where she said she decided she wanted to pursue a career in the public sector.
In Provincetown, McPherson said she looks forward to working closely with the town’s planning board, which had expressed a desire for a planner. She said she was drawn to the “very historic town,” and she would like to develop design guidelines and work on rewriting the town’s comprehensive plan.
McPherson said she does not have just one favorite project or accomplishment from her time in Concord.
“I don’t want to define my years here by just one thing,” she said.
But she did have high praise for the Concord Planning Board.
“I do want to say that one of the best things about my experience here has been working with the planning board, that I consider them to be a really strong board,” McPherson said.
Oct. 11 will be McPherson’s last day at Concord City Hall. She begins work Oct. 15 in Provincetown.
“It will be a really hard move for me, just because I love so many people here,” she said. “And I feel like it’s been a great experience working for the city. I like to think I’ve been good for the city.”