October 13, 2022– Mansfield, CT—Mansfield Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth has announced that Jennifer Kaufman has been selected as the new Director of Planning and Development for the Town of Mansfield following a nationwide search. A demonstrated leader in this field, Ms Kaufman is a Certified Planner with a comprehensive understanding of land use, economic development, affordable housing, and natural resource protection. She has been serving Mansfield as Acting Director since Linda Painter left the position to relocate in June.
Ms Kaufman has held several positions in Mansfield since 2000, serving with the Planning Department as Senior Planner/Inland Wetlands Agent since 2019, as Natural Resources and Sustainability Coordinator/Environmental Planner/Inland Wetland Agent. She began her career in Mansfield as Parks Coordinator for twelve years.
An advocate for natural resources, Jennifer earned a Master of Science, Natural Resources Planning and Water Resources from the University of Vermont, and as a researcher she wrote the first Vermont Environmental Quality Index, measuring water and air quality, wildlife and habitat quality, waste management, and energy conservation. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bates College.
In her time here, she worked closely with Director Painter to develop Mansfield Tomorrow, the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, and has worked to acquire $1.7 million in grants for programming, planning, land acquisition, and park development. Her work has led to more than 800 acres of open space and recreational lands protected as well as 740 acres of farmland. Jennifer was a major contributor to Mansfield achieving Silver Certification through Sustainable CT, and she was instrumental in creating Mansfield’s Affordable Housing Plan.
“Jennifer is well known both locally and at the state level as a champion of smart growth, open space conservation, and agriculture,” says Town Manager Ryan Aylesworth. In addition to many other professional qualities that made her the right choice for this important position, Jennifer enjoys very productive working relationships with a wide range of key stakeholders and has a true passion for, and deep connections to this community that she and her family have called home for many years.
He adds, “The Town of Mansfield is on the precipice of experiencing a considerable amount of new development (particularly multi-family development and the desire to significantly expand the availability of affordable and senior housing in our community). The Director of Planning and Development will play a key role in helping to facilitate desired growth while at the same time preserving the Town’s rural character, protecting open space, and achieving other goals. Jennifer possesses the knowledge, experience, creativity and other professional skills needed to actively help articulate a shared vision for the future and work in close coordination with myriad stakeholders to ensure anticipated future (smart) growth proceeds successfully in the years ahead.”
“I am thrilled to be part of this team at such a pivotal time in Mansfield’s history,” says Jennifer Kaufman. “In the upcoming months and years, we have new opportunities to support sustainable development, diverse housing choices for people at all stages of their lives, and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. I am committed to developing our Town in a way that aligns with what our residents’ values.
She adds, “I have lived here for 23 years, so I have a vested interest in making Mansfield a place where people with diverse backgrounds and interests want to live, work and recreate.”
In 2017, Jennifer received the Working Lands Alliance Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Award for Outstanding Individual, and was recognized by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) among Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut in 2013.
Jennifer and her husband Doug live in Mansfield, and raised their two daughters here.