Just about 10 years after he was first hired by the City of Yakima as an Assistant Planner, Joseph Calhoun is now in charge of the City’s Planning Division after having been named Planning Manager by Community Development Director Joan Davenport. Calhoun officially began his tenure as Planning Manager on April 3rd.
“Joseph has a wealth of experience in the Yakima area and understands the challenges and opportunities our community possesses,” said Davenport, who, in addition to overseeing the Planning Division, is also responsible for the City’s Code Administration Division, Office of Neighborhood Development Services, and Animal Control operations. “He has a skill set that is extraordinarily well suited to guiding the Planning Division as Yakima continues to grow and progress.”
After having graduated from Central Washington University (“CWU”) in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in geography (minoring in business administration), Calhoun had brief tenures with the USDA Forest Service and Anvil, a Bellingham-based engineering, design, procurement, and project management services firm. Five years after he was hired by the City as an Assistant Planner, he was promoted to the positon of Associate Planner.
In 2013, Calhoun left the City to work as a Planner for the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments handling community and transportation planning for cities and towns throughout Yakima County.
In June 2016, the City hired Calhoun back to serve as a Senior Planner to oversee an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, administer the City’s historic preservation efforts, and direct an equity study requested by the City Council.
“The City is fortunate to be able to have someone of Joseph’s caliber on its staff,” said Davenport. “I am confident he has the leadership abilities necessary to enhance the quality customer service that the City of Yakima’s Planning Division is known for.”
Originally from Tacoma, Calhoun graduated from Life Christian Academy, a private school located in Central Tacoma, in 2002. While attending CWU, Calhoun spent summers working as a concrete specialist for a Yakima contractor and as an asphalt loader for an oil and refining company in Tacoma.
As Planning Manager, Calhoun will be responsible for long range planning, regulation compliance, and a variety of planning-related programs.