Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

Claire Ricker, Arlington’s new planning and community-development director, was introduced to the Select Board at its Sept. 28 meeting.

Town Manager Sandy Pooler, welcoming Ricker, said, “We are lucky to have a new talented and experienced director of our planning department.” 

Ricker said that she works with an extraordinarily talented staff. “The town has given me a warm welcome, and everyone has been very supportive. Arlington is thoughtful, engaged and passionate. I think we’ll be able to deliver some really good projects.”

Ricker’s immediate goals include:

  • Hire an economic-development coordinator (Ali Carter left in June for a position in Lowell) and
  • See what’s available in town, looking at entrepreneurs and talking to breweries. She has met with Beth Locke, Arlington’s Chamber of Commerce executive director, and the two are already planning Arlington’s 2025 semiquincentennial of America's founding, or 250 years after the start of the American Revolution, in 1775.

Before coming to Arlington, Ricker was the director of real estate for Coalition for a Better Acre. This community-development corporation in Lowell oversees the development of affordable housing and long-range neighborhood planning to support stable housing in Lowell, Dracut and Haverhill, among other responsibilities. 

“One of my Dracut projects was featured in ‘This Old House,’ said Ricker at the meeting, referring to the program about older-home renovations on GBH-TV.

Ricker holds a master's in urban planning from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a bachelor of arts in history from Mount Holyoke College and a certificate in construction management from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Board warmly welcomes director

Chair Len Diggins said he looks forward to generating ideas with Ricker about Arlington’s Broadway corridor. 

Board member Steve DeCourcey said, “You bring great experiences to the job, and we look forward to working with you.”

Member Diane Mahon said, “You have an exemplary reputation in the Planning Department. People have stellar things to say about you.”

Member John Hurd said he’s impressed with Ricker’s qualifications and experience, and how they match the needs of Arlington. 

Member Eric Helmuth said, “We are blessed to have senior leaders and employees in town with a passion for this work. I’m thrilled to have a strong team in place that you’re here to lead.”

The day after the meeting, residents were invited to attend a reception to welcome Ricker at Town Hall Auditorium.  

Sept. 19, 2022: Hillside Avenue tree-removal decision postponed

This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. 

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