Marco Island City Planner Van Lengren leaving

— Marco Island City Planner Kris Van Lengen is leaving his position for a job in Collier County. Van Lengen, who has been with the city for more than two years, will become the county Utility Department’s environmental compliance manager.

Van Lengen said the position will allow him to more narrowly focus on issues such as land use policy, contracts, state and federal regulation and environmental concerns.

“It taps into my background,” he said following the announcement at a meeting of the City Planning Board.

Van Lengen earned a master’s degree in public administration and also has a law degree. Before arriving on Marco Island, he worked for the comprehensive planning department of Collier County where his emphasis was on rural land use issues. Van Lengen also has private sector experience.

Planning Board members were complimentary of Van Lengen’s tenure and dedication.

“Kris has done an absolutely great job,” said Planning Board member Jack Patterson. “You’ve left a legacy behind.”

“I’m proud of being able to work with so many dedicated citizens and staff members,” Van Lengen said after the meeting, adding that he has always appreciated residents’ participation and their willingness to get involved to make the Island better for everyone.

Bryan Milk, the city’s Parks and Recreation director, will serve as interim City Planner and continue his current duties for the short term. Milk was hired as Marco Island’s first City Planner and held the job for 10 years and even worked in both capacities for several months before Van Lengen’s arrival in 2009. Even with a shrinking city budget, Milk doesn’t believe Marco Island leaders will phase out the position of City Planner because it is too important. However, he was non-committal about whether he wants to reclaim his former job, saying he hasn’t made a decision.

Van Lengen’s last day with the City of Marco is Aug. 26.

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Comments » 3

marco97 writes:

Bryan, please take your old job back, we need someone with experience in running a park to take the job you do now.

ajm3s writes:

An ad-lib farewell:

Mr. Kris Van Lengen, a person of integrity and competency. Will miss his informed approach to solving issues. I only wish there were more Van Lengens style folks that bring a refreshing air of professionalism.

He served to remind us and that competent government can exist. He restored the review process that requires a healthy debate and brought that to the surface; a true open dialog that one seeks in an open government.

He brought back my faith in fair and balanced in government, at least as it was brought to his desk. I am not one to easily offer congratulations, since there is so much mediocrity in government. I am more prone playing the role of a curmudgeon because it fits me well. But today I wear my Sunday best for this special occasion, I truly wish you the best, because you are exceptional from my perspective. You rose above the rest by staying focused.

Again, thanks, you will be missed. And appreciated your counsel. You truly offered more than you could imagine to me personally.

Godspeed.

ed34145 writes:

Kris did well to leave a sinking ship.

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