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Meet Ken: Senior Development Planner

  • Ken - Senior Development PlannerWhy did you choose this career?

    I chose to be a city planner to help shape the built environment of the community.

    What do you enjoy about working at the City of Gresham?

    Watching Gresham transform from a semi-rural suburban community of 50,000 people in the 1980s to more than double that today. I enjoy the collaboration between residents, City leaders and staff – we are charting the future of this city.

    What do you do, in a nutshell?

    I guide citizens, developers and others through the development process and shape changes to the development code itself.

    What's your best advice to someone entering the field?

    Be a good listener and an advocate. Most clients are regular citizens who need to be guided through the development process maze. Nothing frustrates a citizen property owner more than not being able to do as he wishes with his piece of property.

    What was your career path?

    My education started in Nigeria and culminated in a teaching diploma. After two years teaching third-graders, I came to America to further my education. I studied Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC.

    What are the most valuable skills you learned in school that you use on the job?

    Practical application of theoretical concepts learned in planning school. This includes code writing, interpretation and application. It also includes using technology in land-use planning.

    What was your first job?

    My first paid job was a third-grade teacher. Before that, I held an unpaid job as a goat herder, tending the family goats and sheep.

    Are you interested in planning, development or economic development?

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