Five Commission staff members take early retirement

On May 15, the Cape Cod Commission said goodbye to five long-time staff members who took advantage of an early retirement program offered through Barnstable County.  

Deputy Director Patty Daley, Chief Planner Sharon Rooney, Senior Transportation Engineer Lev Malakhoff, Commission Clerk Gail Hanley, and Hydrologist Scott Michaud left the Commission having served for a combined 127 years. Four of the five served with each of the Commission’s four executive directors, some starting with the agency’s predecessor, the Cape Cod Planning and Economic Development Commission (CCPEDC). 

Patty Daley started as a solid waste coordinator with CCPEDC, having just completed law school.  While working on solid waste issues, she assisted with research and drafting of the Cape Cod Commission Act and after passage of the Act in March 1990 she was appointed the Commission’s first staff counsel – a role she played for the next decade. After spending time in the private sector and municipal planning, Patty returned to the Commission in 2008. In her final decade with the Commission, Patty played an integral role in planning for, developing, and implementing the region’s 208 Plan Update, an effort to address nitrogen-impaired coastal waters, among leading other agency-wide initiatives.  

Sharon Rooney was among the first class of planners hired after the formation of the Commission in 1990. She recalled the early challenges starting as a regulatory planner at a time when the Commission’s regulatory program was still being formulated. Sharon has carried the Commission’s work across the country, speaking at numerous American Planning Association (APA) conferences and events and serving on the board of the APA’s Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division. She was integral in drafting a master plan for the Massachusetts Military Reservation, which led to much-improved relationships between military and local leaders and is credited for her leadership on the latest edition of the  Regional Policy Plan and identification of Cape Cod placetypes.  

Like others hired before the creation of the Commission, Lev Malakhoff was part of the Commission’s transition from a purely planning agency to one with regulatory authority. He has helped to determine how traffic affects area roadways and develop a fair way to mitigate the effects of new development – a key part of the Commission’s regulatory program.He ran the Commission’s annual traffic counting program and was an architect of the Commission’s library of traffic data and analyses. Among his many achievements, he is well known as a champion of Bike Week, Alternative Transportation Week, and a Cape-wide bikeway and pedestrian network, which he coined as Vision 88. 

Scott Michaud joined the Commission as a hydrologist in 1998. He worked with others in the water resources department to define Cape Cod’s watersheds, a key development and instrumental to the approach of the Section 208 Plan Update. Scott was relied on for developing the calculations behind the WatershedMVP decision-support tool, among his other important contributions to water resources planning. Integral in ensuring that the agency’s decision-making had a sound scientific backing, he also served as a resource for towns, professionals, and residents on water resources matters large and small.  

Hired in 1992 as an administrative assistant, Gail Hanley spent more than a decade providing administrative support and design and layout expertise for Commission publications and reports, working with staff across all departments. In 2004 she was appointed Commission Clerk, supporting the regulatory department and the 19 members of the Cape Cod Commission – a position she held until her retirement. In her 15 years in this position, she ensured schedules were maintained, minutes were kept, and decisions were recorded, never missing a deadline. Gail has been critical to the success of the Commission’s regulatory program.  

Each of the five retiring staff members have left the agency and the region in a better place, having provided expertise on important initiatives that have helped to shape the Cape Cod we all know today. “We will miss their experience and professionalism but wish them the best as they begin new adventures,” Commission Executive Director Kristy Senatori said. 

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