Planning commission director to leave

NASHUA – After six years leading the Nashua Regional Planning Commission, Andrew Singelakis is leaving to take a planning position in Tucson, Ariz.

Singelakis will be the deputy director of planning for the desert community starting in February. His last day on the job at the NRPC will be Jan. 16.

He broke the news to the members of the planning commission Wednesday. In response, the members applauded him for his efforts since arriving in October 1997.

“He’s done a superb job. He did a very good job. We’re sorry to see him go,” said John Eresian, the vice chairman of the commission’s board.

Stephen Williams, the commission’s assistant director, will become the acting director effective Jan. 17.

The NRPC is one of nine regional planning commissions established by the Legislature. It helps local communities deal with land-use issues, transportation concerns and housing needs.

Singelakis, a Nashua native, has spent his career in New England.

“It was an honor to serve my home state, city and region,” said Singelakis, 39, in a written statement.

He is moving to a much larger community, more than three times the population of the 12 communities served by NRPC.

During his six years here, Singelakis led the commission in developing master plans for Route 101A, Route 101 and the Broad Street Parkway, and supporting the effort to bring commuter rail to the city.

Also, the commission has beefed up its technical capabilities by investing in geographic information systems and state-of-the-art transportation modeling.

Eresian praised Singelakis for strengthening the commission, and getting it involved in more projects in the region. The budget has grown because Singelakis hustled to be more active and provided more services to communities, he said.

Another strength is his ability to deal with a variety of people, from state legislators and selectmen to lobbyists, Eresian said.