Regional plan agency seeking new director

STEUBENVILLE – The Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission is beginning the search for a new executive director with the announced retirement of Executive Director John Brown.

Brown has been at BHJ for 16 years.

“I announced this at the last executive committee meeting. I have 16 years of service, but as of Jan. 1, under changed guidelines to the Ohio Employee Retirement System, I’d need 20 years to keep my health insurance” upon retirement, he said this morning. “I am 66.”

Brown said he thought it more fair to announce his decision early, which gives BHJ five months to seek a new executive.

“Instead of hiring a national or state group or a consultant, we’re doing this internally,” Brown said. That decision was made based on the length of time it took to successfully hire a senior transportation planner when that job had been open.

“So much of job searching nowadays involves a lot of website searches,” he said.

Brown said the hope is to have someone hired by the first week of November to enable a transition between him and the new director.

BHJ is the three-county region’s metropolitan planning organization, which helps with highway planning, handling federal grant funding for localities within the region.

The BHJ has set a deadline of noon Aug. 15 to receive applications, which may be sent to Brown by e-mail to or sent to 124. N. Fourth St., Steubenville, OH 43952.

Brown became executive director in August 1998 and holds a doctorate in public policy making from the University of Pittsburgh.

He also earned a master’s in urban planning from Michigan State University.

(Giannamore can be contacted at