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Former Auburn planning director returns to take on expanded role

Kevin Snyder - Courtesy photo
Kevin Snyder
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Kevin Snyder, former City planning director, returns to Auburn in January to assume a similar though expanded role.

Mayor Pete Lewis and Mayor-elect Nancy Backus have worked together to combine the Planning and Public Works departments to create "greater efficiencies in the community development and engineering infrastructure."

"We are entering an era in Auburn of major development and re-development," Lewis said. "It is imperative we have business practices in place to respond to this growth to ensure it is successful."

Snyder is to oversee the newly formed department – called Community Development and Public Works — with the help of three assistant directors – Jeff Tate (community development), Dennis Dowdy (public works) and Jacob Sweeting (engineering).

"Kevin has the proven skill set and experience to lead this multifaceted group," said Lewis.

Snyder first came to Auburn in September 2008 as the assistant planning director and was promoted to director in 2010. He returns from Sedona, Ariz., where he has been the community development director since February.

"While I've enjoyed my time in Sedona, accepting this opportunity to lead Auburn into its future is something I couldn't pass up," Snyder said. "My roots are in the Northwest and I am excited to return to Auburn."a

Snyder has more than 20 years of planning experience, is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the American Planning Association's, National, Washington and Oregon Chapters.

Before coming to Auburn, Snyder worked in Vancouver, Wash., where he was the director of planning services and the principal planner for the consulting firm of Maul Foster and Alongi, Inc. There he started the firm's first corporate business line of service, overseeing corporate operations, business and management, and project management for public- and private-sector projects.

Snyder also worked for two years for the City of Ridgefield as director of its newly formed community development department, was the first planning manager for the newly incorporated City of Spokane Valley and served as senior planner for the cities of Beaverton, Ore., and Battle Ground.

He received his bachelor of arts in political science from Linfield College, and his masters in urban and regional planning from Portland State University.

"I'm thrilled to be coming into a leadership group as strong as this," Backus said. "We have great things ahead of us and we are now poised to meet these opportunities from a strong business foundation."

The reorganized department's functions start immediately, City officials said.

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