Bytes 'N Pieces provides updates on the "comings and goings" of planners in Maine. Recent moves and news include:

  • Keith McBride joined North Star Planning in 2021 after spending more than 10 years working for Maine communities on economic and community development. He specializes in tax increment financing, strategic planning, downtown revitalization and small business and entrepreneurial development strategies.
  • Susanne Fogt Paul joined the Musson Group in early July as a Planner and GIS Analyst. The Musson Group is a planning consultancy located in Southwest Harbor specializing in Land Use and Community Planning, Economic Development, Geographic Information Services (GIS), Permitting, and Project Management. Susanne moved to Mount Desert Island in early 2021 from Washington, DC for her husband’s job at the College of the Atlantic. Most recently she was a Senior Planner for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Department of Parks for eight years. In that position she managed suitability studies for park facilities, equity studies, land acquisition, parks and trails recommendations for sector and master plans, site plan review, and greenway planning. Susanne has diverse work experience in GIS and planning including projects with local and national non-profits and large city governments and regional planning agencies. She has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Geography and Studio Art from Middlebury College.
  • Robert Sellers will join Hancock County Planning Commission as a regional planner starting Jan 1, 2022. His undergraduate degree in planning was completed at Concordia University in Montreal with a Masters of of Data Science from City University of New York, and an Advanced Diploma in GIS from British Columbia Institute of Technology. He brings experience in planning and GIS analysis from the private and public sector. 
  • Natalie Thomsen joined the Town of New Gloucester as Town Planner.

Changes in Planning at the State Level

The Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning (BRILUP) in the Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry provides data, research, technical assistance, and planning services to every corner of the state. Its six programs serve communities from the southern beaches and Maine’s 3,500-mile coast to the far reaches of the north woods, all facing the challenges of a changing climate, a rising ocean, unprecedented development pressure, and a goal to secure the climate adaptation and mitigation recommendations for all of Maine. BRILUP’s programs include: 

  • Maine Geological Survey (MGS)
  • Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP)
  • Maine Floodplain Management Program (MFMP)
  • Land for Maine’s Future (LMF)
  • Maine Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) serving the unorganized territories
  • Municipal Planning Assistance Program (MPAP) serving the organized municipalities

Staff changes at BRILUP include the following (positions went into effect November 1, 2021):

  • Judy East – Director, Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning 
  • Stacie Beyer – Executive Director, Acting Capacity, Land Use Planning Commission 
  • Ben Godsoe – Planning Manager, Acting Capacity, Land Use Planning Commission 
  • Naomi Kirk-Lawlor, Chief Planner, Acting Capacity, Land Use Planning Commission