Alan J. Sorensen named County’s
Commissioner of Planning
Brings more than 30 years of certified planning experience to the position
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus announced on Monday that Alan J. Sorensen, AICP has been named the County’s Commissioner of Planning. Sorensen’s first day as Commissioner of Planning will be on Monday, March 16th.
“We are very fortunate to have someone as talented as Alan to lead our Planning Department,” Neuhaus said. “Alan has more than three decades of experience and has successfully worked with municipalities throughout the state. He has the knowledge and enthusiasm to lead the Planning Department as it continues to move ahead on a variety of important projects. Alan is a consummate professional and we all look forward to working with him.”
As the Commissioner of Planning, Sorensen will oversee the Orange County Water Authority (OCWA), Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC) and the County’s Grants Unit. He will also be charged with developing Orange County’s comprehensive plan, a detailed assessment of transportation assets and deficits that will provide guidance across County government in defining priorities and allocating funds. In addition, Sorensen will work closely with County Executive Neuhaus to develop the County’s Shared Services Plan. Introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Shared Services Initiative is designed to generate property tax savings by encouraging collaboration between local governments.
“I am looking forward to leading the Planning Department and working with the County Executive’s office and Planning staff members to serve the needs of Orange County residents,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen, the Sullivan County Legislature’s Majority Leader, has been President of Planit Main Street, Inc. since 2001. During that time, he has written plans and conducted project reviews for municipalities throughout New York State. Sorensen has also developed comprehensive plans for the Village of Montgomery, Village of Walden and Town of Chester. As Orange County’s Commissioner of Planning, Sorensen will remain a member of the Sullivan County Legislature.
Sorensen is a former Assistant Commissioner for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (2004-2005) and Commissioner of Sullivan County’s Planning and Community Development Department (1997-2003). During his career, Sorensen had played an integral role in the creation of numerous innovative programs, including the New York Main Street program and Main Street Redevelopment Center in Sullivan County. In 2000, Sorensen was recognized by Cornell University as the statewide “Friend of Extension” for his role in strengthening the social and economic vitality of Sullivan County. Three years later, he received the New York State Historic Preservation Award from the State Historic Preservation Office.
Sorensen received his Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Anthropology from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 1987. He earned a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University in 1989 and a second Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Pace University in 1996.
The Commissioner of Planning position is subject to confirmation by the Orange County Legislature. County Executive Neuhaus will present Sorensen for confirmation in the coming weeks.
Photo Caption: Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus (left) and new Planning Commissioner Alan J. Sorensen.