Ocean View welcomes Cimino as new P&Z director

If Ken Cimino’s name sounds familiar, that’s because many local residents have heard it over the last few years in connection to the Route 26 Mainline Improvements Project.

Now Cimino is taking on a new role — the Planning & Zoning director for the Town of Ocean View.

“I am thrilled that Ken has decided to come to work for us at this point in time. It worked out for him, and the timing was great,” said Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran. “He not only has a good background in planning, zoning and all those related issues, but because he was essentially overseeing the Route 26 project, he already knows all the business owners in town and has a good relationship to start with.

“Remember, part of the change we’re making here is revamping our internal services to put a better front to the public,” Curran added. “I think he’s the ideal candidate to help in that respect as well.”

Cimino graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute “a long time ago,” he said, and immediately went to work for the Maryland Department of Transportation, where he worked for 30 years.

“I touched all the disciplines. I worked in survey, bridge design, construction management, traffic and planning, maintenance and operations,” he said. “I went as high as administrator of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and assistant district engineer.”

Then, in 2007, after years of commuting, Cimino decided to relocate to Selbyville.

“I was living in Bel Air, Md., for 23 years, and I was commuting to Annapolis every day. The ride was quite cumbersome, so I thought, if I’m going to drive an hour and a half-plus to work every day, I think I’ll just build a house on the lower shore.”

He then began working for AECOM Technologies in 2013, and worked as a construction manager and public outreach coordinator.

“My history with the State of Delaware has mostly been in construction management, with a heavy emphasis on community engagement and political outreach,” said Cimino. “I think it will serve me well, having managed the SR-26 Mainline Improvement Project. I know the majority of business owners in the area. My name should be rather familiar to most folks after working here for four years on that project.”

Cimino said he believes his time working on the project will help him in his new role with the Town of Ocean View.

“I think it will help me to resume relationships I formed and easily build new ones with the folks I have not yet met.”

A self-described public servant, Cimino said deciding to work for Ocean View was an easy choice. And having just started working for the Town on June 25, Cimino said he’s not looking to make changes to his department any time soon.

“It’s getting my bearings, seeing how the organization conducts business,” he said. “At some point, we’ll sit down, look at our processes and procedures and see, are there things we could be doing more efficiently?

“Jill [Oliver] and Greg [Durstine] have been phenomenal Week 1 in helping me get settled in, answering my many questions. Those questions will continue, because my style of management is all-inclusive. I like feedback. I like to get opinions from my staff on certain issues, especially when they’re knowledgeable and involved, before we make a decision. Ultimately, the final decision is mine, but I like to gather as much information as I can before making a decision, and that’s where staff plays an important role.”

As he’s just getting his feet wet, Cimino said he won’t be running Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment hearings until possibly September, to ensure he’s up to speed.

“I also intend to be heavily involved in the drainage projects coming up that the Town is looking into. One of my goals is to implement a long-range strategy as our town continues to grow and folks continue to build and move here, so we can provide the best services needed for our constituents.”

Cimino said he is looking forward to a long career with the Town, its staff and constituents.

“My hope and my goal is to move our department forward, into the future, in a progressive manner, and really build something special here for the Town and the Town’s staff,” he said. “I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to be back close to home, working with the Town of Ocean View.”

By Maria Counts
Staff Reporter