NORTH STONINGTON – A four-year western zoning official and former Iowa state representative has taken the reins as the city’s new planning, development and zoning official.
City officials have hired Nathan Reichert to replace former city planner Juliet Hodge, who stepped down this summer. Reichert said his goals include improving economic opportunities and preserving the rural and agricultural aesthetic for which North Stonington is known.
First Selectmen Michael Urgo has stated that Reichert, in his new role, will be able to implement a vision that will help the city move forward with a number of exciting initiatives aimed at Big List growth in coming years.
Urgo said that knowledge of the area and Reichert’s experience as a resident of North Stonington over the past four years will provide the town with a valuable resource and get him started.
“Nate being someone who lives in the city and has experience as a planning and zoning manager in a nearby community, he knows how things work and will be able to intervene immediately,” said Urgo. “He knows the key players and we can rely on him to help us update our conservation and development plan. “
The 51-year-old, who lives in the community with his wife, Rebecca, said he looks forward to working with residents of the town he lives in, a town that has given him a sense of belonging and recalls the farming towns of Iowa where he grew up. The couple have three school-aged children, Spencer, Ella and Emmett, and an eldest son, Simon, who is currently attending classes at Iowa State University.
According to city records, Reichert was hired with a salary of $ 77,553. He officially started working for the city last week.
“It was an opportunity to broaden my horizons and take on new challenges in my career,” he said. “When I was at Westerly, I took on a more specific role. Here I will be able to wear three hats and look forward to working to bring the three unique roles together. “
A graduate of the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration, Reichert grew up in Muscatine, Iowa, and helped his family build homes, work in construction and negotiating real estate. Reichert was elected to serve his hometown as a state representative in 2005 and served for six years before moving to Chicago for work.
In 2017, he was hired as a zoning officer at Westerly and served there from May of the same year until his recent resignation in August. His family officially moved into their current home at the end of 2017, and he said he was drawn to the area after learning more about his brother-in-law and sister, Ryan and Melissa Brookhart, who live in Mystic. .
“I enjoyed my time at Westerly, but it was an opportunity to expand my career opportunities and cross the river to the city I already lived in,” he said.
Reichert said that in his new role he would like to advance several economic initiatives to better position the city for positive and controlled economic growth that will not impact the rural character which has made it a great place for Reichert. and his family.
He noted that the community is fortunate enough to stay small and has several advantages, including being located along the Interstate 95 corridor less than two hours from New York and Boston, and only 45 minutes away. of Providence. He said the location offers opportunities to attract new business, especially along the Highway 2 corridor.
Reichert notes that such efforts will involve expanding infrastructure, including improving water and sewer services to provide the community with the resources it needs to thrive properly without affecting local residents who prefer it. atmosphere of a small town.
He said the ultimate goal was to ensure that local residents have the opportunity to find jobs, start a family and “find their lot in life.”
“We are fortunate to live in a community with great people, amazing schools and a lot of natural beauty,” he said. “My hope is to be able to come to the community where I live, to help businesses grow and attract new ones while keeping that small town flavor that residents are proud of.