Claudia Husak leaves Dublin post to become Powell's planning director

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek

The city of Powell continues to rebuild its staff with the hiring of former Dublin senior planner Claudia Husak as planning director.

Husak began in her role Jan. 11.

Claudia Husak, Powell planning director

The planning director is a new city position, created as part of an ongoing reorganization of city staff by City Manager Andrew White.

The planning director works in the new community-development department, led by community-development director Jeffrey Tyler. This department includes building, engineering, planning and zoning and public service.

Much of the planning director’s function previously was handled by the office of the development director, which included the director, a full-time assistant and an additional staffer.

With the retirement of David Betz as development director in 2020 and the subsequent departure of the assistant in that office, White, with the blessing of council, took the opportunity to reimagine those functions.

White said the goal is to improve city service and benefit the city’s economic-development efforts.

“We’re looking to streamline the process by which people who want to invest in and do business with the city can do that. Part of that is to make our services more efficient and outcomes more predictable,” White said. “(Husak) has 20-plus years of experience in city planning and was involved in a lot of very important projects in her time with the city of Dublin.”

“Interacting with developers, council and residents is second nature,” Husak said. “There are a lot of familiar faces in the development community, people who know my background and know the kind of work I’ve done and what I can do in Powell.”

Husak, who lives in Shawnee Hills, has served as a planner for Dublin since 2003, most recently as senior planner. She served as the primary liaison to the planning and zoning commission, the board of zoning appeals, the administrative review team and council.

She recently served as the lead planner on the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center development.

Husak, 45, said her career in city planning stemmed from an interest she had developed in high school.

“You really can contribute to a city and its residents, become part of the fabric of a community,” she said.

Husak has a bachelor’s degree in urban geography with a minor in city and regional planning, as well as a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Ohio State University.

She became a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2007.

“As we think about what Powell will look like in 10 years, 20 years, partnering with our downtown businesses, improving access to downtown, other corridor development and our city’s infrastructure needs, (Husak’s) experience will help,” White said.

“Meeting with (White) and having him explain the council’s vision, it was something I was interested in being a part of,” Husak said.

Husak will receive a $95,000 annual salary and subject to annual performance-based salary increases, according to Megan Canavan, the city's spokesperson. She'll also receive a host of benefits, including insurance and contributions to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

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