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A New Director for Planning Department

Thu, 12/09/2021 - 10:41

The East Hampton Town Board voted last Thursday to appoint Jeremy Samuelson as director of the Planning Department. Mr. Samuelson will succeed JoAnne Pahwul, who retired in June.

Mr. Samuelson’s appointment is effective tomorrow, at which time he will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence through Jan. 2, with a start date of Jan. 3, according to the board’s resolution.

A longtime resident of East Hampton, Mr. Samuelson served as president and executive director of Concerned Citizens of Montauk from 2012 to 2017. Most recently, he has lived and worked on Shelter Island as director of the Mashomack Preserve for the Nature Conservancy. He previously worked as a senior environmental advocate at the Group for the East End.

He has also served as a member of the town’s business committee, as chairman of its coastal adaptation and resiliency planning committee, on Shelter Island Town’s deer and tick committee, and the Suffolk County Tick Control Advisory Committee. He is a former co-chairman of the East Hampton Environmental Coalition.

“We look forward to having him,” Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said at a town board work session on Tuesday, citing his “strong environmental background” and roots in the community. “I really feel fortunate that we are able to have Jeremy now as director of our Planning Department.”

A statement issued from Town Hall last Thursday said Mr. Samuelson was chosen based in part on his knowledge of East Hampton and his vision and commitment to identifying and achieving long-range planning goals. “We look forward to the knowledge and enthusiasm that Jeremy Samuelson will bring to our town Planning Department,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in that statement. “The addition of our new director to the department staff, which comprises numerous skilled and experienced professionals, will better enable the Town of East Hampton to respond to current challenges and plan proactively for the future of our community.”

He thanked Eric Schantz, senior planner in the Planning Department, “who stepped up and showed great leadership” in the interval between Ms. Pahwul’s retirement and Mr. Samuelson’s appointment. “And Brian Frank was a big help,” Ms. Overby said of the department’s chief environmental analyst.

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