City planner resigns post this June

POULSBO — Planning Director Glenn Gross confirmed this week that he’ll be trading in four walls and a desk at City Hall for the thrill of the open road beginning this summer.

#Last week, Gross delivered a letter of resignation to the mayor and city council members. His job with the City of Poulsbo will officially be over the end of June.

Gross said more time with his family is the main reason for his retirement. He has worked in jobs within the retirement system for 30 years and is eligible for his full pension this June.

Gross, his wife and 4-year-old daughter have planned an 18-month motor home trip across the continent to kick off his new chapter. He said the timing of his eligibility for retirement could not have been better.

“My wife had put her career on hold to stay home with our daughter and our daughter is old enough but she’s not yet in school so we thought now is the perfect time to do this. It’s sort of a carpe diem thing,” Gross explained of his family’s plans.

Gross joined the Poulsbo city staff eight years ago. Those who worked with him remember the Olhava Master Plan process being one of the first projects Gross had to tackle.

Mayor Donna Jean Bruce said Gross carried himself as a very professional planner through the sometimes frustrating process, a trait that followed him through the next eight years.

“He was very experienced when he came here. He had all kinds of knowledge and he helped us through a lot of things like that,” Bruce said.

Gross gives a great deal of the credit for successes within the planning department to his staff. However, staff turn that credit right back on Gross, who Senior Planner Barry Berezowsky describes as a natural leader who teaches by example.

“He’s considerate and compassionate. He understands the issues from the city’s perspective and the public’s perspective and he was always working to balance those perspectives,” Berezowsky said.

Plans have not yet been made as to how Gross’ vacancy will be filled. The City of Poulsbo has the option of either filling the vacancy in-house or doing an outside search. Bruce said the timeline for filling the position will depend on which method is chosen. She did say she thinks that it would probably be best to have Gross’ replacement in place before he leaves.

Gross has offered his help during the transition time and Berezowsky said he feels the change within the planning department should be fairly unnoticeable to the public.

“We’re going to carry on. It’s going to be different without Glenn and I can’t say we’re looking forward to moving on without Glenn but we’re up to the challenge,” Berezowsky said. “We’re certainly happy for him and his family and their future.”

And while he’s relishing the opportunity to see the nation with his family, Gross said he also feels that his retirement will not be completely permanent. Although he hasn’t planned his life out that far, he said he can’t imagine not getting involved in something else farther down the road.

“I’m 53 so I don’t really envision seeing myself sitting on a rocking chair the rest of my life but so far I just want to focus on the immediate plans,” Gross said.

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