Neighbors

Former Mesa official new county planning, development director

Posted 7/5/21

Tom Ellsworth, who has 22 years of professional planning experience, has been hired as Maricopa County’s planning and development director. His first day on the job was June 28.

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Neighbors

Former Mesa official new county planning, development director

Posted

Tom Ellsworth, who has 22 years of professional planning experience, has been hired as Maricopa County’s planning and development director. His first day on the job was June 28.

Most recently he was principal planner for the city of Mesa, according to a release.

“This is a great time to join Maricopa County with the surge in new builds and renovation projects we’re seeing,” Ellsworth said in the release. “I look forward to bringing my ideas and leadership to the challenges we face in efficiently serving individuals and businesses while also protecting the community as a whole.”

Ellsworth takes over for Jen Pokorski, who was promoted to assistant county manager after three years at the helm of the department. In that time, the department has prioritized online and fast-track permit options and relocated to the county’s administration building in downtown Phoenix.

“Tom has the right experience for this job. He has worked with policy makers, developers and citizens on a range of projects including the creation of comprehensive area plans, large master-planned communities, and the redevelopment of more mature neighborhoods,” said Pokorski. “I believe he will do a great job making sure we have consistent turnaround times on plan reviews, prompt building inspections and efficient online options for people going through the permitting process.”

Ellsworth is an Arizona native with a master’s degree in public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, both from Arizona State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association.

County planning and development

The Maricopa County Planning and Development Department provides a wide range of services for unincorporated Maricopa County including land use planning and entitlement, building permit review and inspection, and code compliance.  

Permit applications and payments can be submitted online through a virtual counter at accela.maricopa.gov/CitizenAccessMCOSS/Default.aspx

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