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County Executive Falk: Jeanie Sieling, Dane County Director of Planning and Development, Will Retire in May

April 07, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
County Executive

County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today that Jeanie Sieling will retire May 2 as Director of Planning and Development of Dane County. The department, with 30 employees and a $6.8 million budget, compiles detailed land use information, enforces zoning ordinances in the unincorporated areas of the county, conducts plat reviews, and provides staffing and technical support to the Dane County Zoning and Natural Resources Committee. The planning department also leads the county’s efforts in comprehensive land use planning, under the state’s Smart Growth law. “Jeanie has made an enormous contribution to good land use policy in Dane County,” said Falk. “She leaves the planning department well-prepared to help us shape how our county grows in the future. I am very grateful for her service and will personally miss her very much.” Sieling joined Dane County in 1988, serving first as assistant to Dane County Executive Rick Phelps for seven years. Her main responsibilities were land use, environmental and public safety issues. In 1996, Phelps appointed her Interim Director of the new Planning and Development Department. She served as Interim Director for two years and, in 1998, County Executive Falk appointed Sieling the first permanent Director of Planning and Development for Dane County. Sieling shaped the new department, making sure land use information was readily available to the public and county decision-makers. She introduced use of new computer technology to make maps and digitize data, to streamline the work of the department and to allow citizens better access to land information. Sieling organized several land use conferences, workshops and training sessions as director. She started the Comprehensive Planning Process (often called Smart Growth) by successfully applying for a grant from the state. She facilitated the organization of the Comprehensive Planning Process with her department and other departments for the next four years of planning and implementation. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead the Department and shape the way it serves its customers,” said Sieling. “It is difficult to leave the wonderful people I work with in Dane County, but I am looking forward to more family time and time to travel with my husband, Jerry.” Falk announced that Todd Violante, AICP, senior planner in the department, will serve as interim director. Violante joined Dane County in 1998, and holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison. “While it will be a challenge to fill Jeanie’s shoes, I am confident in the department and the ability of the people here,” said Violante. # # #
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