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New city planner picked from 'very qualified field'
City of Rincon sign

RINCON — Jason Stewart emerged from a talented pack to win a key City of Rincon job last week.

Stewart was named city planner by a unanimous vote during the Rincon City Council’s July 13 meeting. He was recommended for the role by City Manager John Klimm.

“We were very blessed with a robust number of qualified candidates,” Klimm said.

Stewart succeeds LaMeisha Hunter Kelly, who resigned in late June to take an administrative job with Effingham Health System. He was chosen from a field of nearly 30 applicants.

Klimm conducted the initial round of interviews before the process moved to a panel that included him, Mayor Ken Lee, Christina Lawson, City Attorney Raymond Dickey and Eric Landon, director of Planning and Government Services for the Coastal Regional Commission.

“(Stewart) was our unanimous choice,” Klimm said.

A native Virginian, Stewart comes to Rincon from Asheville, N.C He has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Virginia Tech. He is also accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners, the preeminent organization in the field.

Stewart’s work history includes stints as a town manager, county manager and assistant city manager/director of community development. He served as community development director of Fluvanna County, Va., where he was responsible for planning, building and economic development departments.

“We talked to him at length about things like grant writing, economic development and code enforcement,” Klimm said. “He also has extensive experience in writing comprehensive plans and has been involved with infrastructure planning and budgeting, so he clearly rose to the top in what was a very qualified field.”