Longtime Pinellas planning chief to retire
Brian Smith, the planning director who's spent 41 years with Pinellas County, will retire in November, he confirmed by phone from a Washington conference Friday.
Smith, 69, said his departure was his own choosing and he wasn't asked to depart from the job, which has a salary of $138,200. He said he intends to focus on woodworking projects at home, and step away from government work. He won't be a consultant, though he may become more involved with a national planning organization and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. He's one of 25 people the group is honoring as "champions" of its cause this week.
But Smith's departure does come at a transition point for the county, which wants to combine the Metropolitan Planning Organization with the Pinellas Planning Council, if lawmakers agree. The county intends to seek applications to run the joint group, and Smith said it's a good time to depart with that transition happening.
"I’m just kind of going to enjoy the idea of not having a lot of assignments," Smith said.