Heather Wright

Planning director switches from BI to Poulsbo

Planning and Community Development director Heather Wright is leaving Bainbridge Island to take a similar job in Poulsbo, which is closer to where she lives.

Wright, who joined the city in 2007, will be director of Planning and Economic Development in the Viking City.

Wright, appointed as director in September 2019, was initially hired by the city as an associate planner. She also served as Senior Planner and Planning Manager. Wright served as staff lead for shoreline projects before transitioning to Winslow core area projects, including the Waterfront Park Redevelopment, Grow Community and Bainbridge Landing. She also served as liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission where she acquired grants and wrote the first historic incentive code. She also served as staff lead for the city’s Public Participation Program.

As Planning Manager and Director, Wright empowered staff to implement a plan to reconfigure the city’s permitting system, and transition to electronic plan review and online appointments for permit submittals. She also launched Engage Bainbridge, the city’s first online engagement site designed to share, discuss and collaborate on city topics. She completed the moratorium work plan, and served on the Regional Coordinating Council.

Planning staff praised Wright for her leadership, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Her last day is Nov. 1.

The city will begin the process to identify an interim director, and an open and full recruitment process to hire a new director.

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson said Wright previously spent three years at Monroe County in the Florida Keys prior to coming to Kitsap County. She holds a bachelor of science degree in geography and a master’s of urban planning from the University of Louisville and is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Kitsap. She will start her new position in December.

“I will greatly miss the city. It has been a wonderful experience serving the island, and I am excited to start a new chapter and make a difference in another community I love and currently live in, Poulsbo,” Wright said Friday in an email.

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