After interviewing finalists for Monroe's planning administrator position, town officials chose Will Agresta, who has experience as an assistant municipal planner in Wilton and, more recently, as a planning consultant in the private sector in New York. Agresta comes over from Matthew D. Rudikoff Associates.
First Selectman Steve Vavrek said around 20 people applied for the opening, vacated when David Killeen left to accept the associate planner position for the city of Stamford.
"This guy is the real deal," Vavrek said of Agresta on Tuesday. "He has a good private/public background. I think he's going to be a nice fit. He's worked with other companies who've helped us to update our POCD (Plan of Conservation & Development). He's in touch with consultants and planning companies. He knows first-hand how to work with these people and get things done."
According to the Human Resources Department, Agresta's starting salary is $66,137.
As the Planning & Zoning Commission now works with BFJ Planning to update and revise Monroe's zoning regulations and codes, Chairman Patrick O'Hara believes Agresta's hiring comes at a good time. Agresta attended the second public workshop for the update, which was held at Masuk High School last week.
"I think he's gonna be wonderful for the town of Monroe," O'Hara said Tuesday. "Will has an extensive background in writing regulations, as well as an extensive private practice background on the entire land use process. I think he's seen both sides of the table."
O'Hara noted how the commission "has been involved in a very complex process of rewriting the regulations" after having lost its former chairman Rick Zini, who had resigned, and then Killeen. "Will is hitting the ground running," he said.
"This commission remains committed to keep reviewing its regulations," O'Hara said. "I think the public is gonna be pleased with what we're doing, because we are absolutely looking to improve people's rights."
During a break at last week's workshop, Agresta told reporters he has 20 years of experience and has been working in New York with a client base that included communities, developers and private institutions.
On Tuesday, Vavrek said Agresta was "getting his feet wet" at Monroe Town Hall, adding he has met co-workers, gotten out into the community and plans to meet with some of the major developers in the area.
"He's fitting in well with the land use department," Vavrek said. "I know we made a good hire."