Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus this week named Alan J. Sorensen as the county’s Commissioner of Planning.
His first day as commissioner will be March 16.
As the Commissioner of Planning, Sorensen will oversee the Orange County Water Authority, Orange County Transportation Council 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 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.
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.