Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Making a Move from the Beach to the Desert Atlantic Beach Official Takes Job in Arizona

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Making a Move from the Beach to the Desert Atlantic Beach Official Takes Job in Arizona

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Clark, Shorelines staff writer

ATLANTIC BEACH -- After spending 10 years as a city zoning code expert, Community Development Director George Worley has decided to trade the sandy beaches of Northeast Florida for the desert sand of northern Arizona.

Worley will work his last day Friday before packing for Prescott, Ariz. He will assume a similar community development position for a city of 38,000 people -- about twice the size of Atlantic Beach. The city of Prescott also will pay him a little more than the $50,000 a year he received in Atlantic Beach, though the actual figure was not available.

While he spent most of his time answering citizen requests to build on or demolish parts of their property, Worley also advised city officials on the long-range planning for the city.

He may be best remembered, however, for his efforts to revise the city's zoning code, which was recently completed and will be up for public discussion April 16.

Now making his third professional move, he takes with him a decade of experience in zoning issues and, as some of his colleagues have said, a genuine interest in helping people understand local government.

"One thing that really stands out with George is his helpfulness with the public," said City Manager Jim Hanson. "He spends a large amount of time helping the public cut through the red tape, and he gives them answers."

Worley pursued the Prescott job on a whim during a vacation trip out West. With majestic mountains in the city's background and no hurricanes or tornadoes to worry about, Worley said it was hard to resist the opportunity.

"I like mountain views, plus the city is surrounded on two sides by national forest," he said. "My wife and I also like outdoor activities like camping and walking, and there's plenty of room to do that there."

But he probably won't have much time to gaze at the scenery right away. Worley said the first project he'll tackle in Prescott will be finishing a development plan for homes near the city's airport. The rest of his new job, he said, will be more focused on long-range issues for the city.

As he packs his bags, Worley said he'll have fond memories of a decade's worth of work at the Beaches -- especially his first few months. …

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