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North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 6:36 pm

Sonoma County taps local development expert as planning, building chief

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    JT Wick

    Tennis “JT” Wick

    SANTA ROSA — The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved Tennis “JT” Wick, a longtime North Bay private- and public-sector land-use planner and commercial property developer, as director of the county’s Permit and Resource Management Department.

    Effective Nov. 12, Mr. Wick is set to take the helm of an agency, known as PRMD, that regulates real estate development and construction as well as stewardship of natural resources.

    “My first priority will be to reach out to the environmental, agricultural, and business communities to share the mission of the agency and to hear from them what issues are most pressing for them today,” Mr. Wick said in a statement.

    The board said it conducted an “intensive and highly competitive” search for a replacement for longtime PRMD director Pete Parkinson, who retired earlier this year after 13 years in that role.

    “My colleagues on the board and the County Administrator are tremendously pleased with the outcome and are confident in Mr. Wick’s experience and vision for the future of the department,” said Chairman David Rabbitt.

    Most recently, Mr. Wick was a principal with Sausalito-based Berg Holdings, responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and special projects.

    During that time, he co-founded Sonoma Vermiculture. It’s a project that diverts 2 tons of food waste per day from the county landfill to Petaluma River Farm, where the waste is transformed into salable soil and compost.

    Mr. Wick also served as partner planner in the Petaluma office of CSW/Struber-Stroeh Engineering Group. A key task for that group was the Central Petaluma Specific Plan.

    Before working in the private sector, Mr. Wick worked for a decade at Marin County Development Agency. His roles included development chief, principal planner, senior planner and planner.

    PRMD has been putting into place various processes in recent years to combat common perceptions in the building industry that the department is difficult to work with. Innovations recently include the Citizen Academy, an ombudsman position and collaboration with the county’s Economic Development Board and other planning jurisdictions on shared initiatives such as the single online permit tracking system.

    A Petaluma resident, Mr. Wick earned a JD from Golden Gate University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a member of the American Planning Association, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Petaluma City Planning Commission and Bank of Marin’s Petaluma Advisory Board.

    The annual salary for the PRMD director is $137,700 to $167,400.

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