Tri-County Planning Commission hires new Executive Director

Sep 25, 2014

A Chicago-based urban planner will come to Peoria this year to lead the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the commission approved an executive director contract with Pete Saunders:

Saunders is currently working as a freelance consultant focusing on community development and neighborhood planning. He previously worked as a senior planner for the Chicago metropolitan Agency for Planning and the city of Joliet. Interim Tri-County Director, former state senator Dale Risinger, says Saunders displayed an engaging personality during the interview process, but says Saunders also spoke about funding sources for the commission:

“Money that we get from I-DOT and the income from that. But he also understands that we need to expand that. And he’s a great writer. So he understand grant writing and those kind of things.”

Saunders also talks about development in Midwest cities on his personal blog.  His contract with the commission runs through June of 2016 and comes with an annual salary of $100,000.  The commission interviewed six candidates for the post.  Risinger says he plans to stay on with the planning group through Saunders’ transition to the area.