Greater Severna Park Council President Patricia Troy has chosen a newcomer from California to head a panel that will attempt to devise a10-year development plan for the region this year.
Independent consultant Muriel Yilmazcetin, who has lived in Berrywood South for 18 months, was selected this week to meld the desires of Greater SevernaPark's 60 community associations into a clear, concise vision for the next decade.
As an outsider, Yilmazcetin concedes that she is "completely ignorant" of the history and idiosyncrasies of the Severna Park, noting that she learned about the East-West Boulevard/Benfield Road controversy only last week. But she boasts that she will bring "a clean slate," an "open mind" and "plenty of planning experience" to the panel.
Troy, who ascended to the head of the GSPC three weeks ago, has madea priority of healing the fractures within the council caused by differences over East-West Boulevard and other planning issues.
She said she met Yilmazcetin through their mutual memberships in the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, the Entrepreneur's Exchange and Leads Unlimited, and decided her planning background and energy suited Yilmazcetin for the Planning Committee job.
In her two years as the president of the California chapter of the Turkish-American Association -- an unprecedented position, she says, for a female Jew in a Muslim male-dominated society -- Yilmazcetin says she was able to double both its membership and its treasury.
Yilmazcetin now runs Mentor Inc., a human resources and personnel management consulting firm that helps businesses set goals and policies to let employees understand what is expected of them.
Yilmazcetin says she hopes to improve the relationship between the communities of Severna Park and the council in the same way she tries to improve employee-management relationships through her businesses.
"The council needs a long-range plan that includes a balanced look at business, parks and recreation, police and security and other services so it doesn't have to make all its decisions by the seat of its pants," Yilmazcetin said.
Yilmazcetin, who has never attended a GSPC meeting, will be introduced to the council Tuesday when she will begin asking for input from the communities.
She says she will ask the community groups to "do some homework" as they list their long-term goals, and then will meet with the associations "two or three at a time" to discuss them.
Ultimately, she and the other yet unappointed members of the Planning Committee will use the input to pull together a 10-year development blueprint.