New Planner Hits the Ground Running in Leominster
LEOMINSTER -- Having worked in both the private and public sectors, Elizabeth Wood prefers working in government.
Perhaps that should come as no surprise.
“I have a whole family history in it. My grandfather worked for (former Vice President) Spiro Agnew in Baltimore. We have a pair of his cuff links,” said Leominster’s newest planning director. “I love the taxpayers and I love serving them. I love all of the moving pieces of local government and how they come together like a living organism.”
Wood is replacing former City Planning Director Kristen Kelly, who left her department in June after working two years for the city. That position was filled on an interim basis for the last few months before Wood started working on a permanent basis last week.
Her experiences prior to Leominster saw her working in both the private sector and in planning departments across the country. She had previously worked as a planner in Sheridan, Wyoming, and more recently in Windham, New Hampshire.
“Southern New Hampshire has a lot of similar issues it’s facing as Leominster. They have marijuana and affordable housing issues,” she said. “I like to look at how Massachusetts is handling problems and how New Hampshire is and, if there’s something we can learn from others, I’d like to bring that by the mayor.”
While these are two topics Wood said she expects to focus on a lot in her new role, she said she also plans to be involved with the development of the city’s new master plan, which will help lay an outline for the future of development in Leominster.
“Leominster has gone through a lot of growth and it’s just starting to get to the point where it’s almost completely built out,” she said. “We have to ask what Leominster can being doing in the next few decades.”
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