Nov 06, 2012 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
David Tessier was not your average code enforcement officer.
Tessier spent the last six years as Director of Planning and Development for the town of Manlius, where he supervised a staff of code enforcement officers and worked closely with the town planning board. He is a New York State Certified landscape architect, was Director of Planning and Development for the city of Syracuse and before coming to Manlius served more than 10 years as the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the town of Clay. He’s the president of both the Onondaga County Planning Federation and the Alumni Association at SUNY ESF, and chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the town of Pompey, where he lives with his wife, Linda.
Tessier retired from the position with the town of Manlius on Oct. 1.
“I’m going to miss working with the people,” he said. “The applicants and people that come into the office, and working with them on a daily basis. I’ve really enjoyed that part of the business — helping people with their plans and their ideas, and getting their site plans approved.”
It was Tessier who got the town involved with the Central New York Stormwater Coalition — which he helped to create — about two years ago. The coalition works to help communities meet the state’s stormwater management requirements while improving water quality throughout the region.
Town Supervisor Ed Theobald said Tessier’s background and expertise in architecture as well as environmental science made him impossible to replace. The town has no plans to hire a new full-time director of planning and development and instead will increase the hours of the town engineer, Doug Miller, “to fulfill baseline responsibilities at a reduced contractual rate,” said Town Councilor Nick Marzola. He said the move will save the town nearly $40,000 a year.
“We weren’t able to replace his position completely because of the lack of individuals with that type of a background,” Theobald said. “He brought that expertise to the town of Manlius, especially when it related to the stormwater situations that were going on, the environment issues that had to be followed and any permit of building process.”
Tessier’s expertise will be missed not only by the town of Manlius, but by the village of Manlius as well, since he served as Director of Planning and Development for the village through a contract between the two municipalities.
“We’re in conversation right now about whether or not we’re going to need to continue to do that,” Theobald said. “Obviously they pay for that service, so we’re still working those things out with them.”
In his retirement, Tessier said he and Linda plan to do a lot of traveling. He spoke to the Eagle Bulletin from Iowa, which was not their first destination since Oct. 1.
“We’ve already been to Florida and back since I retired,” he said. “And we’re sitting here this morning planning an Alaska trip for next year, so travel is our big thing. And I do woodwork as well, so I’ve got a lot of projects around the house to do.”
To recognize his contributions to the town, Theobald read a proclamation at Tessier’s last town board meeting on Sept. 26 that highlighted his professional achievements but didn’t stop there.
“In his down time, Mr. Tessier likes to watch SU basketball and football games and can often be seen at many games,” Theobald said. “He is known for his love of woodworking and attending numerous antique farm toy shows around the country. He is also known for having some of the best looking ties at Town Hall.”