James P. Francomano joins the Mid-Coast Regional Planning Commission this month as its new executive director. Many in the Midcoast will find his name familiar because he has been working at the city of Belfast and the town of Rockport since 2011.

Francomano is a graduate of Pepperdine University and Yale University, with degrees in law and architecture. He moved to Maine in 2008 for a job as city planner in Presque Isle before relocating to the Midcoast. His first planning job began in 2006, at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, in Western Massachusetts.

“I’m passionate about helping communities with land use decisions,” Francomano said. “As a regional planning commission, the MCRPC serves both smaller towns with the most limited in-house staff and some larger communities as well, whenever specific tasks seem appropriate for outside consultant services. These include ordinance revisions, work relating to comprehensive plans and site specific master plans, as well as staff support for planning boards and boards of appeal.”

The town of Rockport is retaining the services of the MCRPC in order to keep Francomano working with its Ordinance Review and Comprehensive Plan Review Committees. Rockport Town Manager Rick Bates said, “We are sorry to see Jamie go,” but Bates is pleased that “the important work of those committees… will still get done seamlessly through the new consultant relationship with the commission.”

The current agreement is effective through June 2018. No announcement has been made about filling the now-vacant director of planning and community development position at the town.