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Longboat Key Monday, May 14, 2018 1 year ago

Longboat newcomer appointed to Planning and Zoning Board

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Debra Williams, a 55 year old former planning and zoning board member of a small town in New Jersey, was unanimously appointed to the board by the Town Commission.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

Town Commissioners have appointed Debra Williams to the Planning and Zoning Board, filling a vacancy left by commissioner Ken Schneier.

Williams is no newcomer to public service. She served on a Planning and Zoning Board for almost five years in Rumson, NJ, Williams wrote in her application for the position. She said that work, which included rewriting the master plan for the small affluent community, prepared her for a seat on Longboat Key’s Planning and Zoning Board.

“We face many of the same coastal-related issues relating to development, flood preparedness, resiliency to storm impact and other natural hazards,” Williams wrote in her application.

The 55-year-old Longboat Key resident spent her professional career in the technology sector, working for 16 years with AT&T as a consultant. After she left AT&T, Williams worked with technology startups on technology infrastructure, human resources and operations, she wrote in her application.

Williams’ appointment, which came with unanimous support for the Town Commission, accompanied three re-appointments to the board: chairwoman BJ Bishop, Philip Younger and Ken Marsh.

The Planning and Zoning Board operates as a seven-person board established to make decisions about changes to comprehensive road and zoning plans, applications for subdivisions and motions to adapt the building and zoning codes as the board sees fit.

Williams said that although she moved to Longboat Key two years ago, she and her family have been visiting the area for years and decided to settle when all of her children were in college.

“If I were appointed, I would bring this experience, dedication, and a fresh perspective to the Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Board,” Williams wrote in her application.

I’m a Longboat Key Staff Reporter. I write stories about how decisions and events affect the island, its leaders and its citizens. I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I wrote for The Boston Globe. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 333.

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