Kluchman Ready to Face Westford's Land Use Needs
While Angus Jennings cast a long shadow in town, there are probably few people more ready to fill his shoes than his replacement.
When entering a new job, one often hears of a "learning curve." For for Chris Kluchman, that curve is more a straight line...from her old desk approximately ten feet away.
Earlier this year, the town said good bye to Westford Director of Land Use Planning Angus Jennings, but was able to quickly find a replacement in Kluchman, who served frequently alongside Jennings as Westford's Town Planner.
Until Town Meeting next week, Kluchman will continue to do both jobs, although due to her two years of direct experience with many of the issues she will now face, she expects a smooth transition.
"It's certainly easier coming into the job knowing several boards relating to development, knowing the development community and knowing town staff," said Kluchman. "That's a great advantage as opposed to coming from the outside."
In addition to overseeing whoever will take over her old position, Kluchman's role also includes oversight of the Conservation Department, the Building Inspector, Affordable Housing Department as well as aiding all of the boards that provide policy for those departments and the new committee that will oversee economic development.
With the continued growth of the town, she will also be overseeing a new half-time town planner and conservation planner as well as a now full-time assistant building inspector.
"Given the amount of building development in town, those positions are pretty crucial to provide services to the town," she says. "This department will be busy keeping the public informed as well as meeting the service requirements to the residents, applicants and boards."
Yet, after 25 years of experience in comparable fields, she's ready for the challenge and happy to be in a town that is so fixated in planning issues.
"I think it's great that people (here) care about new growth and looking toward the future," she says. "It's a great thing for a professional. After all, if you have a town that doesn't care, what are you really doing?"
Applications for Kluchman's old position will be accepted until April 15.