Chatham's Community Development Director Takes Truro Planner Job

By: Tim Wood

Community Development Director Deanna Ruffer is leaving Chatham to become town planner in Truro. FILE PHOTO

CHATHAM – Deanna Ruffer, the town's director of community development since 2012, has resigned effective March 10.

Ruffer said she has taken a part-time position as planner in the town of Truro.

“This is an opportunity that allows me to reduce my professional responsibilities at a time in my life that I feel it is very beneficial and attractive to do so,” she said Monday.

Ruffer is the second top official in the department to leave in a matter of months. Building Commissioner Justin Post left for a position in Wellfleet in January. Principal Planner Kathleen Donovan also replaced planner Ryan Bennett in October.

Human Resources Director Jillian Douglass said in an email that she will meet with Town Manager Jill Goldsmith and Ruffer today (Thursday) to discuss interim leadership of the community development department as well as the recruitment of new director.

Ruffer said she is pleased with the department's accomplishments, in particular the approval last year of several significant zoning bylaw amendments, the first time in many years that substantive changes were made to the town's zoning regulations. She also highlighted work with land use regulatory agencies such as the planning board, zoning board of appeals, historic business district commission and historical commission.

“During this time we've seen the historical commission adopt rules and regulations and the HBDC adopt design guidelines, and we've seen the zoning board of appeals adjust to a number of case law decisions,” she said. “I greatly appreciate the support the boards and commissions have provided to me and the department, and I'm proud of the staff we've developed here in the department,” she added.

The Truro position was attractive due to the “land use opportunities and challenges” that community is facing, Ruffer said. She was also interested in the working relationship the town has with the Cape Cod National Seashore. She starts her new job at the beginning of April.

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