Handy appointed planning director

Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune

Carrie Handy has been hired as the city’s planning and development director.

A two-year city employee has taken the reins as the new Oberlin planning and development director.

Carrie Handy was appointed to the role last Tuesday by city manager Eric Norenberg.

She replaces former director Gary Boyle, who worked with the city for 17 years before taking a job this January in Erie County.

The city received nine applications for the position and five were interviewed by city officials, planning commission members, and residents.

Norenberg said the panel gave Handy a three to five ranking on all of her answers, with five being the best score possible.

“Her experiences were the best fit for Oberlin,” he said.

Handy has held a previous planning director position in Sandusky. She has also served as the Oberlin city economic development and housing officer.

“Planning is really my first love,” she said.

Norenberg said Handy has demonstrated over the past few months as the interim director that she deserves the position.

Handy said she is teaming with the planning commission to focus on updating the city’s zoning code, adding an institutional zoning district, and achieving Climate Action Plan goals.

It is unclear who will fill Handy’s previous position as head of economic development, but she believes it is an important job.

“There’s a need to keep a focus on economic development,” Norenberg said.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.