WALLINGFORD — A new town planner started on the job Monday, after the position had been open for more than seven months.
Kevin Pagini, a 36-year-old Meriden native, came to Wallingford from Cortland, New York, where he served as the Cortland County planner for nearly eight years.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said in a statement that he’s “pleased” Pagini has chosen Wallingford, and “welcome(s) the expertise he will share with us.”
As a county planner, Pagini oversaw development applications for 19 municipalities. He served as both the county planner and environmental planner.
Pagini earned a bachelor’s degree in geography in 2008 from Central Connecticut State University, where he was a member of Gamma Theta Upsilon, an international Geographical Honor Society.
He went on to earn a master of professional studies degree, with a major in environmental and community planning, in 2013 from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
While in graduate school, he completed coursework in geographic information systems, which are computer-based programs used to create layered, sometimes 3D, maps using geographic data.
Wallingford has a public GIS map online that allows users to view details about commercial and industrial properties.
Pagini said he hopes to be able to draw on his experience with GIS in his new position.
“I'd like to see expanded GIS capabilities” in Wallingford, he said. “I don’t know how much he (Dickinson) wants to go that route, but I have such a background in it. I don't want to lose the amount of experience I have, and if you don't do it for a while, you get rusty.”
In Cortland, Pagini said he and his team would make maps for development projects, agricultural easements and conservation easements.
They even worked with the public transportation system to create a GPS system on the buses so riders can track where buses are.
“We would actually create the GIS data. I would make maps like that,” he said, pointing to a detailed, color-coded zoning map of a section of Wallingford on the wall, “pretty much weekly.”
Pagini spent his first day settling in, meeting his co-workers in the Planning and Zoning office. He plans to review the zoning applications that are coming up before the Planning and Zoning Commission, including the proposed Amazon warehouse facility at 5 Research Parkway — a site which sits in Wallingford’s Watershed Protection District.
“In Cortland, they have a sole source aquifer there,” Pagini said, “so most of the development projects that I had were directly related to aquifer protection. That's where I think we have sort of a match with what I did there.”
Pagini lives in Meriden and is the son of local naturalist and photographer Robert Pagini.
He’s engaged to Diana Dick, who is wrapping up her time working on a Pfizer pediatric study at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, Pagini said.
His annual salary is $97,023.
Kacie Hand, Wallingford’s former town planner, stepped down at the end of August of last year.
Tom Talbot, the acting town planner, has been working in the planning office since March 2020, when he began filing in part-time for Hand when she went on maternity leave. Hand returned part-time in the beginning of July, but handed in her resignation soon after.
Talbot said Monday he might stay on for as long as another month or two, working in the capacity he’s needed, which will be determined as time goes on, he said.
After leaving the Wallingford planning office, Talbot plans to study clinical mental health counseling at Southern Connecticut State University.
About Pagini, Talbot said he “inspires confidence.”
“He's not without experience, he's not with that background,” Talbot said, “and when we were talking, he seemed to have the ability to sort of relate his experience to this experience, in the extent that it was explained to him. I think the town has every reason to be optimistic.”