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by Susan DeMar Lafferty, The Daily Southtown
The Will County Land Use department director plans to retire at the end of this month after heading the agency since 2005.
Curt Paddock is credited with reorganizing the department, creating a series of separate divisions, each with its own director, such as community development, resource, recovery and energy, and building division.
“Curt has led our land use department through many changes over the past 12 years,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh in a news release. “He has embraced new technology and best practices for land use management and has helped keep our county moving forward.”
Applications are now being accepted to replace Paddock. Walsh will name a candidate who must be approved by the county board.
During Thursday’s Executive Committee meeting, however, board Speaker Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort Township, said the board should consider whether the director’s position is still needed.
Moustis thanked Paddock for his “dedication and hard work,” despite “some disagreements.
Moustis said before searching for Paddock’s replacement, he will seek input from board members, the Land Use Committee and Walsh on whether the position is necessary.
During Paddock’s 12-year tenure, the department implemented the willcountygreen.com website, offering environmental tips for residents, received more than $12 million in grants for neighborhood facilities, housing rehabilitation, and energy conservation efforts, and achieved Gold Status as a solar-leading community by the International City/County Management Association.
“I am proud, with the support of the county executive, Will County has become one of the leading counties to have government-led programs that support green initiatives,” Paddock said in the news release.
“Our electronics recycling program set the bar for other counties as have our household hazardous waste and books recycling events,” he said.
Paddock, 67, said the recognition of which he is most proud is the National Public Integrity Award from the American Society of Public Administration for outstanding ethical conduct.
“As stewards of the land in Will County, it is the responsibility of the Land Use Department to protect our natural resources while also encouraging responsible land development,” he said. “We have implemented new technology with online permitting, offering information about solar power, and heightening the transparency of this department’s operations. I am proud of the work we have done thus far and see a very bright future for Will County.”
“Will County has become my home and my wife and I will be happy to retire here,” said Paddock, a Plainfield resident.
Before coming to Will County, he worked in county planning and economic development throughout the Cincinnati, Ohio metropolitan area, and owned an economic development consulting firm.
“I will be sad to see him go but wish him all the best as he retires and moves onto the next chapters of his life,” Walsh said of Paddock.
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