City manager makes transition to Planning and Development Director

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, January 10, 2008

Picayune’s city manager is leaving to take a new job with the county in an effort to bring his experience to the county’s Planning and Development Department.

Dr. Ed Pinero’s new position will be Director of Pearl River County’s Planning and Development office, as announced in Monday’s Pearl River County Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

Pinero said he will continue his work as city manager for about a month, making the transition to the Planning and Development Department in early February. That time will give the council and mayor time to find a replacement and also grant Pinero time to finish any projects he has on his plate.

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“I appreciate the confidence and support that the mayor and council have given me during my time as city manager and appreciate the vote of confidence and support the supervisors have shown in me to offer me this position,” Pinero said.

Developing a prosperous working relationship between Poplarville, Picayune, Partners for Pearl River County and the supervisors will be a priority when Pinero takes his new position, he said. His work will aim to define a strategy and direction for future economic development in the county.

“Economic Development is at the forefront and the major initiative that the board of supervisors want to drive,” Pinero said.

The Planning and Development Department may undergo some changes as Pinero takes the helm, including making the department more customer friendly, ensuring county efforts are not duplicated and opening up communications between residents and the department.

“The planning department can not be a hindrance to development,” Pinero said.

He said his past experiences and education make sense for this transition. Pinero has a Ph.D. in International Development; he previously worked in cities throughout the state on numerous economic development projects, and he was the associate director of Gulf Coast Geospatial Center where he conducted remote sensing for five years at the University of Southern Mississippi.

“All of this background ties up into the perfect opportunity to help the entire county grow and prosper,” Pinero said.

Recently he was appointed to the Policy Advisory Committee for remote sensing and GIS for the state.

Pinero said his efforts will aim to improve and move economic development forward by working to make Pearl River County more attractive to industrial and commercial developers. This, in turn, will create jobs for county residents. He said this could be achieved by using locations that have access to rail, interstate and highways. While nothing is in the works right now, an example of such a place is Millard, Pinero said.

“These are the types of locations that need to be explored,” Pinero said.

The former Board of Supervisors had discussed similar plans, but no action was ever taken.