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Justin Givens is no longer Derby’s city planner. According to City Manager Kathy Sexton, Givens resigned last month in order to pursue other opportunities.

“It was an amicable parting, and we will certainly miss him and wish him well,” Sexton said. 

Givens now is operating Givens Partnership Group LLC, according to his Linkedin page, and terms himself as an economic and community development professional. 

Sometimes in a city’s employment structure, positions are reworked or eliminated when a position opens, but not in this case. Sexton said she is seeking a new city planner as it’s an essential job.  

“With the community still growing at a rapid clip, we look forward to filling this critical position,” she said.   

Givens was the former city administrator for Clearwater, and started his Derby job in late 2017, replacing Cody Bird, who resigned to take a planning job in Colorado. 

Givens also worked as a community development director for the city of Sterling, and then a city planner for Paola. He then went on to work for Goddard as its director of community development before working in Clearwater. 

While the position is open, other staff members are working to cover the job responsibilities. 

The job opening has been posted on the city’s website and Sexton said she’s pleased with the response to fill the slot. 

“We’ve had a strong applicant pool and are still accepting applicants,” she said. 

The city is offering a salary range of $65,000 to $88,000 a year, depending on qualifications. 

It requires that a successful candidate have a master’s degree in planning, public administration, or a related field, or a bachelor's degree in a related field with significant experience.

Other requirements include “five years progressive experience in urban planning, public administration, landscape architecture, or a related field.” 

The person in the planning position is responsible for reviewing cases, preparing reports, setting agendas, and conducting meetings for the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

There are usually two DPC meetings a month and BZA meetings are set as needed. 

The city’s planner also appears at City Council meetings as required, usually to brief council members about an agenda that they need to vote on. 

The planner also is instrumental in the development process as he or she needs to approve planning-related requirements for issuing building permits, sign permits, home occupations, business registrations, occupancy permits, and related documents.

That individual also implements recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and other planning studies.

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