Ed Lavernoich, deputy director of Bridgeport Planning and Economic Development, will be the first person to hold the revised Trumbull development position.
First Selectman Tim Herbst announced the appointment Monday afternoon. Bridgeport mayoral spokeswoman Elaine Ficarra did not immediately return a call for comment. Lavernoich was also not immediately available.
Lavernoich succeeds Deborah Cox, who worked under a contract with the town. The job was then made a town position, including benefits.
"During his time in Bridgeport, Mr. Lavernoich has served 6 mayoral administrations and has been promoted five times. Mr. Lavernoich is also currently the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Redevelopment Agency, and has served on numerous boards and commissions related to economic development," Herbst said in a statement.
“When I interviewed Mr. Lavernoich for this position, three words immediately came to mind in assessing his candidacy - - honest, experienced and hard working,” Herbst said. “If you look at some of the most successful economic development in Bridgeport, it was due in large measure because of Ed’s efforts. Ed has been able to navigate through a whole host of challenges and deliver on the Bijou Square Redvelopment, the Arcade Redevelopment, the West End Industrial Park, as well as high quality residential redevelopment that has occurred throughout downtown over the last few years.
"As we seek to grow Trumbull’s tax base in a responsible manner, we will need a person leading our economic development efforts with a proven track record of getting things done. Mr. Lavernoich is that candidate," Herbst concluded.
The first selectman explained Lavernoich's accomplishments in Bridgeport.
- "Completed in 2011, the Bijou Square redevelopment involved a $6 million renovation of historic buildings to be converted into retail and residential. The project also included a $25 million investment in new construction, which resulted in 84 new residential units and 10,000 square feet of retail space downtown."
- "Also completed in 2011 was the redevelopment of the downtown Arcade. The Arcade revitalization was a $20 million adaptive reuse project, which included a historic atrium restoration. The project integrates residential units with 64,000 square feet of commercial space."
- "The West End Industrial Park project involved the remediation of several industrial properties and created a revitalization corridor representing 4 new buildings and 210,000 square feet."
"This type of creative approach was necessary to move Trumbull forward and indicated that this wass the primary consideration in selecting the new Economic and Community Development Director. In order for Trumbull to grow its tax base and bring businesses into our Town, we must look to not only develop, but also revitalize and redevelop,” Herbst said.
“The Bijou Square redevelopment and the Arcade Redevelopment demonstrate that Ed has the professional acumen to think of creative solutions in redeveloping underutilized areas. We need to start thinking creatively and coming up with an alternative land use plans that will allow Trumbull to grow, while still maintaining our rich character. This type of approach will bring a fresh perspective to Trumbull as we seek to revise the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.”
According to Herbst, Lavernoich expressed enthusiasm about joining the Town of Trumbull.
“I'm excited to get started and participate in the update of the Plan of Conservation and Development. I am also excited to work with an impressive Economic and Community Development Commission, and to join the strong professional team that First Selectman Tim Herbst is assembling. I see great opportunity for Trumbull to grow its business base. Our challenge will be in promoting economic growth without compromising the essential character of a wonderful community.”
Herbst said Lavernoich received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the University of Connecticut, a Masters of City Planning (M.C.P.) from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Financial Management from the Graduate School of Business at Fairfield University. He received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council in 1988. Mr. Lavernoich has frequently provided testimony before the Connecticut General Assembly on issues affecting economic development.