Key Burlingame officials riding off 

The city is going through some personnel changes with the announcement of a new city planner and the search for a new public works director.

Meg Monroe, the longtime city planner, is retiring and will be replaced by Bill Meeker, the principal planner for the city of San Rafael.

The city also is looking for a new public works director, as George Bagdon is retiring in August. Interviews for that position will begin as early as next month.

Meeker, whose new title will be community development director, will begin April 30 alongside Monroe, who will depart in mid-May. He has 27 years experience in city planning, which includes Osceola, Fla., and Fremont. Meeker also worked on the downtown redevelopment of Redondo Beach.

"That’s what he’ll be doing here," City Manager Jim Nantell said. "He’s done some economic development work, which is what the City Council is interested in."

Monroe, a Palo Alto resident, started as a contract planner with the city in 1981 and became city planner in 1984. She said since then, the city has seen a population shift toward young couples.

"This next generation is investing in their houses," she said. "They are remodeling. We have more restaurants. When I started, at 5 o’clock, you could shoot a cannon down Burlingame Avenue and you wouldn’t hit anything."

She said she has no specific plans for retirement, but that she and her husband own a 200-acre almond farm in the Sacramento Valley.

Nantell lauded Monroe for her years of work.

"She is by far the most productive planner I’ve ever worked with," he said. "It’s going to be a real loss."

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