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Town losing planner

James Rada Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(3/20) Thurmont is losing one of the key people who have been helping the town plan for its future development. County Planner Denis Superczynski has been also serving as the town's planner under a long-time agreement with county.

However, on Mar. 3, the Frederick County Commissioners wrote a letter to Thurmont Mayor Martin Burns saying that with the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1, Superczynski's duties would be shifting to that of a liason to the town's planning commission rather than a planner.

Commissioner President Jan Gardner said that the reasons driving the decision is that the county needs use of their planners full time and she wanted to avoid any conflict Superczynski could be placed in if county planning decisions and town planning decisions conflicted.

Thurmont Mayor Martin Burns said that reason the county has providing planning staff for municipalities is that they don't tend to need full-time planners. Gardner agreed, but pointed out that most municipalities had either hired a part-time planner, share a planner with another municipality or have their planner perform other duties.

"We don't need a full-time planner in Thurmont and I certainly don't want to have to pay for one," Burns said.

Thurmont Planning and Zoning Chairman John Kinnaird said that the planning commission will be discussing the situation during their March meeting, but "It's really going to affect us severely if they cut him out in July."

Superczynski has been serving as the town's planner during the town master plan update and during the the town's comprehensive rezoning.

Gardner said that after a conversation with Burns, she realized that making the change on July 1 could adversely affect the town. "We don't want to cause a problem with this," she said. "He will continue to serve as the town planner until the town's master plan is complete."

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