When Mayor Michelle Kaufusi announced she would be forming a new department to provide one-stop shopping for developers, a new department head came with it.
On Wednesday, Kaufusi announced her selection of William “Bill” Peperone as Provo’s first director of the new development services department. He is currently the assistant director of community development under Director Gary McGinn.
Peperone will begin his new responsibilities Sept. 3.
“Bill totally gets it,” said Wayne Parker, chief administrative officer. “He has wide respect and transparency and brings a good mix to the organization.”
The department of development services was created July 1, after an extensive and strategic effort to improve and streamline development review processes in Provo, according to a city press release.
“The new department will consist of the city’s functions of economic development, redevelopment, current planning, and building inspections, along with hosting and managing the city’s planned one-stop development services center,” the city stated.
This new department means some changes to the current structure as Peperone becomes the department head over economic development and redevelopment.
Economic development division director Dixon Holmes and redevelopment division director Dave Walter will now report to Peperone rather than directly to the mayor, according to Parker.
The city will shift federally-funded programs, like Community Development Block Grants headed by Dan Gonzales, to McGinn’s office in community development.
“This initiative, along with several others including an online portal for development applications and tracking, and a revamped development review process, is intended to improve timeliness, efficiency, predictability and transparency of the City’s development review and approval process,” the release said.
“With all the experience I’ve have, I feel my career has led to this point,” Peperone said. “I have been on both sides of the counter.”
Peperone said he will start making decisions with the next step being to start implementing changes with personnel assignments.
Peperone has worked in community development since 2010 as a senior planner and then as assistant director. He also served as the principal planner in Salt Lake City’s Community and Economic Development Department.
He was the president of Trophy Homes Land Development, and also worked as an executive for DR Horton Homes. He has also served as a member of the Orem City Council.
Peperone has a master’s degree in geography and urban planning from Brigham Young University.
“We are very excited about Bill Peperone being appointed as our first director in this new department,” Kaufusi said. “Bill is ideally suited for this new role due to his extensive background as a private developer, a planner, and a public sector leader. He brings the right skillset and attitude, and understands how important this new initiative is to the city, our stakeholders and our residents.”
Parker indicated they had interest from outside of the city but also nine internal candidates. A screening panel took that number to four and the mayor, Parker and Isaac Paxman, deputy mayor made the final decision.
Under Provo’s form of government, mayoral appointments of department directors require the advice and consent of the Municipal Council, and the matter will come before the council on Aug. 27 at the regular council meeting.