* indicates required

Get to know Wade Sanner; Idaho Falls newest community development services director

By IFM Staff

Published online: Sep 11, 2023 Discover Idaho Falls
Viewed 1519 time(s)

With many years of knowledge and experience, Wade Sanner has been appointed as Idaho Falls’ newest community development services director. A community development services director in short is someone who plans ahead. In this role, Wade spends his time managing the development of various projects for the city.

Wade’s two main responsibilities in this position include taking policy direction from elected officials and taking on the administrative role of managing others.

IFM: What led you to this position?

WS: A few things. This is where I wanted to be career-wise. I’ve always wanted to be in a director position and to run a department. Also, the area is ideal for me. On a personal level, it is close to my wife's family.

Besides that, Idaho Falls is really good at being progressive in their planning. By progressive, I mean they are always thinking ahead. I really like that and for example, we are working on doing things with missing middle housing. There are already things like AirBnb’s and short term rentals, but it’s this kind of stuff that keeps me professionally stimulated.

IFM: What type of work have you done prior to this position?

WS: Professionally I started my career in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, which is Southeast of Kansas City. I was an intern in planning tech while I was in graduate school at the time. Then I was a planner just outside of Denver in Wheat Ridge, Colo. Then I moved to Sandy, Utah and I was there for 8 years. I was a long-range planner there, then I was the community development director in Sheridan, Wyo., where I just came from. That’s kind of my history.

When it comes to planning, I have been very fortunate. I’ve really done it all. I have quite extensive experience for my short career. I’ve been in my career for about 11, 12 years so I've been fortunate that I’ve done not just long-range planning and grants, which most people in my position haven’t had the opportunity to do, but I have also done other low-level work such as filing things. In my previous position, I was managing people and processes, and building relationships with politicians. I sort of evolved from the technical side and I’ve always wanted to move to the administrative side. In the planning world, you kind of deviate from the two. So, career-wise, that is what I have gone through.

IFM: What are some of the responsibilities you have in this position?

One thing is I take policy direction from our elected officials from the city council. That means I’m making sure that I’m doing what the people of Idaho Falls want. The constituencies or the residents of Idaho Falls, making sure I’m in compliance with how they want to see their city grow. As a part of that, I implement the comprehensive plan, which is a document that guides our development and how we think about growth in Idaho Falls. On the other side, I do administrative roles of managing people, managing personalities and personal conflicts but also processes and making sure they are efficient and that development is occurring in a fair and timely manner.

IFM: What are you looking forward to in years to come for Idaho Falls?

Idaho Falls has a lot of beauty to it, and there’s a lot to be loved about it. Idaho Falls, it’s a regional hub economically. Because of that, it’s a nice blessing to the city because you have a drive of people coming here from the outside. So you have the internal economy that churns right? But then you also get an influx, giving you a great deal of opportunity of outside thinking and outside perspectives.

People come here from Western Wyoming, Northern Utah, Southern Montana and even Eastern Utah. We have the economy driver that’s really fortunate and we also have the natural beauty of the city that’s a driver. If you don’t like city life, you can live here, but you can get out quite easily and I think having that balance is important. And to maintain that balance, I think is very key.


Send to your friends!

  • Like what you read?

    Get Idaho Falls Magazine straight to your door!

  • Subscribe Today!

    Sign Up