With a background as diverse as the state of Texas, new Tomball city planner Rebeca Guerra is settling into her new office, in a new state.
Guerra was hired by Tomball after she spent several years as a senior planner in the Orlando, Fla. area, serving the county government and a area population of 1.2 million people.
She has an associate degree in journalism, a bachelor’s in international affairs and a graduate degree in urban and regional planning. She is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, certified in the crime prevention through environmental design program and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional.
“I’ve always wanted to live in Texas,” Guerra said. “I love the independent spirit that Texas personifies.”
Guerra said that the draw of Texas ultimately led her to the opening in Tomball. She immediately liked what she saw and decided to pack up and head west.
“I saw a charming downtown area with a great council that had a comprehensive plan for the entire city,” she said. “I have a chance to get right into the middle of it.”
Guerra stated that she has immediate goals she is working on, such as the ongoing Downtown Specific Plan project and a re-working of the city’s sign ordinance.
Guerra said that the city is working hard on getting a final version of the Downtown Specific Plan completed before the end of the fiscal year.
In the 2012-13 fiscal year, Guerra said she has four key areas she would like to focus on. She is looking at updating the zoning ordinances, rules governing landscaping, parking requirements for businesses and completing a connecting sidewalk pattern around the Medical Complex area.
“Medical Complex is a wonderful jewel that Tomball has,” she said. “We need to work very hard to make it all it can be.”
Guerra said it hasn’t taken much time for her or her pets to get settled into the area.
“This is an incredibly friendly town and everyone at the city including (City Manager George Shackelford), Mayor (Gretchen) Fagan and city council have all been a wonderful help,” Guerra said.
While this is her first position as the head of a planning department, Guerra believes that her background and experiences as a senior planner have readied her for the position.
“I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities I have here,” she said. “Tomball is ready to blossom and I am just blessed to be here.”