2018-05-31 / Community News

City of Saco creates new planning position


Denise M. Clavette Denise M. Clavette The city of Saco announced the hire of Denise M. Clavette, who will join Saco in mid-June as the planning and development director, a newly created position.

“As Saco continues to grow, it is important for the planning and economic development staff to work closely together to fulfill the needs of our community,” said Kevin Sutherland, city administrator, in a press release.

The economic development director and planning director positions have been consolidated into one planning and development director position.

The planning and development director position was created to support that effort.

“Denise’s experience in economic development and her familiarity with Saco and neighboring communities will support my mission to facilitate Saco’s growth without increasing property taxes,” said Mayor Marston Lovell.

Clavette has most recently served as the assistant city manager for the city of Auburn, a position she has had since July 2017. Before that, she was Yarmouth’s first economic development director, where she led a collaborative initiative developing three tax increment financing districts. During her time as Yarmouth’s economic development director, Clavette was instrumental in managing a business retention and expansion program that included the preservation of more than 600 jobs, projected creation of more than 500 new jobs, and $25 million in new investment.

“Denise brings a lot of energy to the workplace,” Sutherland said. “Her ability to effectively manage a multitude of projects, her aptitude for building strong teams, and the connections she has made during her many years of experience in municipal government will be invaluable to the future success of Saco.”

Clavette’s career includes roles as economic development director, business development manager and liaison for the Naval Air Station redevelopment, chamber executive director, and director of parks and recreation at different municipalities across the state.

“Denise is an excellent choice for the planning and development director position,” said Bob Hamblen, Saco planning director. “The bar has just been raised – she is well-respected and connected with a vast toolbox. Saco is fortunate to be adding Denise to the phenomenal team already in place in Saco.”

Hamblen will be working closely with Clavette while she transitions into this role and as Hamblen prepares for retirement.

Clavette has a BS in Parks and Recreation Management, from the University of Maine and lives in Old Orchard Beach with her husband Larry Mead. Clavette enjoys landscaping, gardening, golf, piano, and volunteers at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House.

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