ROCKLAND — The city has a full-time planner for the first time in 32 years.

W. Rhett Lamb began his job Tuesday, Jan. 18 as Rockland’s planner.

The City Council approved the creation of the planner position in June 2021. Councilors said a planner could help on development and implementation of a comprehensive plan, creating a plan for the McLain School, dealing with cell tower legislation, and many other issues.

Rockland last had a full-time staff planner from June 1988 to December 1989 when Don Green held the position. The City Council cut the post out of the 1990 budget. Since then, the city has performed planning through existing staff or contract with consultants.

Lamb’s office is in the space formerly occupied by Adam Ackor who left the chief code enforcement office job in September to return to his private contracting business.

Lamb came from Peterborough, N.H.

Lamb was the assistant city manager/community development director for Keene, N.H. since 1996. The Keene Sentinel newspaper posted in a November article Lamb announced his retirement and would work into December.

The Sentinel said Lamb led a number of community initiatives over the years, including projects dealing with climate change and enhancing sustainability in Keene. He also worked on several zoning, planning and community revitalization projects during his tenure.

In addition, Lamb served on the N.H. Governor’s Climate Change Policy Task Force and co-chaired the New England Municipal Sustainability Network.

From 1992 to 1996, he was assistant town planner in Falmouth, Mass.

Since 2001, Lamb has also helped train and educate race crew members in Alpine racing at Mount Sunapee in Newbury, N.H.

He received the 2021 New Hampshire Professional Planner of the Year award.