Press Release

County Planning Director Appointed

Date: November 4, 2003

Release: Immediately

Contact: Dinah Phillips, Public Information Officer

Susan A. Mauriello, the Santa Cruz County Administrative Officer, announced today that Tom Burns has been appointed as the new County Planning Director. Mr. Burns will replace Alvin James, who has taken a position as the City Manager of East Palo Alto.

Mr. Burns, 49, began working for Santa Cruz County in 1977 as the County geologist. He has also served as the Chief of Environmental Planning and Assistant Planning Director. Since 1988, he has served as the Administrator of the County Redevelopment Agency. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the design and development of a variety of community development projects, including public works infrastructure, economic and small business development, park and recreation development, community planning, development review, and affordable housing financing and development.

A lifelong Monterey Bay resident, Mr. Burns graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree with honors in Earth Sciences. He has completed various post-graduate geology courses, primarily related to water resource management. In addition, he has received special training related to land use and real property negotiations, development financing, and land use legal issues.

Under his leadership, the County Redevelopment Agency has received multiple national design awards for the Farm Project, the State American Planning Association Outstanding Planning Award in 1991 for the Soquel Village Plan, and the State Park Design Award in 1993 for Twin Lakes Park.

Mr. Burns has been an active member of the Santa Cruz community, having served on the Santa Cruz Mutual Housing Association, the Santa Cruz Economic Vitality Committee, the Ecology Action Board of Directors, the Friends of the Harvest Board of Directors, and the Live Oak School District Citizen's Advisory Committee. He has been a Youth Soccer Coach for eight years.

Mr. Burns said, "It is a great honor to be selected to serve as the County Planning Director. I am looking forward to working with the Board of Supervisors and the staff in serving the residents of this community and meeting the challenges that face the County."

Mr. Burns will begin his assignment November 8, 2003.