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Principal Planner Matt Noble resigns

December 22, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The town's principal planner, Matt Noble, handed in his resignation Wednesday.

Noble's name joins the list of others who have quit in 2017.

"There's not many people left from when I started in 2014," he said.

Former Public Works Director Scott Baker, former Community Development Director Kara Stewart and former Director of Administrative Services Maureen Rischitelli all resigned this past summer.

"I'm deeply concerned that the institutional knowledge of Fort Myers Beach is being lost," said Council Member Anita Cereceda.

The positions in the Community Development department, with the exception of code enforcement personnel, have been largely outsourced to contracted employees.

Cereceda said Noble was an asset to the town for his thorough knowledge of the town's land development code and his ability to both advocate to the town's comprehensive plan as well as assist people coming to the town as applicants.

"It's important, hugely important, to know where (the town) has been in order to move forward and not repeat mistakes and dramas. You can circumvent a lot of issues by having consistency in staffing," Cereceda said. "We go through staff like a bag of chips."

Noble has been with the Town of Fort Myers Beach since Nov. 2014. As the principal planner, he's been involved in many different issues within the town in relation to building and development.

"I am appreciative of my time at the town, but it was time to move on," Noble said.

Noble said he will be helping the Village of Estero, a municipality in its infant stages, grow up. Last year the village wrote its first comprehensive plan. Noble, as Estero's seventh employee and new principal planner, will dive in to help them write their land development code.

"It's sad for us but a great opportunity for him, so we have to be supportive," said Suzy Katt, a member of the Historic Advisory Committee.

Noble was instrumental in saving the historic beach cottage on Estero Boulevard. The house was set to be demolished when a resident alerted Noble to its significance. He brought it to the attention of the historic advisory committee. Russ Carter, a member of the Estero Island Historic Society, spoke with Noble during the meeting and by the end, they had a plan, Katt said.

Noble helped coordinate the effort to save the cottage with Joe Orlandini.

"We were able to save it from the wrecking ball because of Matt," Katt said. "He was able to give people guidance of what to do with historic homes, try to help them when they were trying to restore. That expertise will be missed."

Noble was also the point person at the town dealing with the TPI Hospitality project.

Besides his work for the town, Noble worked as a planner for private projects outside the town with his own company, ANoblePlan LLC. He's had the LLC since Jan. 2014.

Noble handed in his resignation Wednesday, with a four-week notice, and planned for his last day to be

Jan. 10 or 11, he said. But on Thursday, he was told it was his last day at the town.

"I gave them plenty of notice," he said. "It caught me by surprise. But when you resign from a position they can tell you to leave."

Town Manager Roger Hernstadt was not in the office at the time, as he was out for vacation. He said via a call on Friday that he didn't know Noble was resigning and had not set the terms of his resignation.

"I don't know what was going on to dictate that circumstance," Hernstadt said.

The town manager added that Noble's position as principal planner gave him the authorization to sign off on some aspects of his job without needing approval, and that ending someone with that authority's tenure before the two-week notice "is not very unusual."

Noble's employment status with the Village of Estero has not yet been confirmed.



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