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Rod Francis

Town and Village

Planning director to leave Brattleboro

Rod Francis takes new position as planning/zoning director for Norwich

BRATTLEBORO—The town’s planning director, Rod Francis, has resigned from his position. His last day is July 6.

Francis has accepted a position as director of planning and zoning for the town of Norwich, Vt.

Francis was hired in 2008 as Brattleboro’s planning director. He previously worked with the Windham Regional Commission and other municipalities in a variety of states.

Town Manager Peter B. Elwell made the announcement at the June 19 regular Selectboard meeting.

“We are happy for Rod Francis, but very sad for ourselves,” said Elwell.

Elwell noted the extensive work Francis has done for the town.

“[Francis] participated in several significant development projects,” he said, including the Brooks House’s recovery and post-Tropical Storm Irene rebuilds.

Elwell made special mention of Francis’s work overseeing the 2013 Town Plan rewrite, which received “Plan of the Year” award from the Vermont Planners Association.

From that document, Elwell said, Francis rewrote the town’s zoning laws and modernized its land use regulations, “bringing us out of the 1970s and into the 2010s.”

Less visible, but also important, said Elwell, was Francis’s work with the federal Environmental Protection Agency on the town’s brown-fields and “broader community development."

Elwell thanked Francis for his work on behalf of the town, and noted the change is “Norwich’s gain [and] Brattleboro’s loss.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #465 (Wednesday, June 27, 2018). This story appeared on page A7.

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