There are few town employees who garner as much respect and appreciation for a work ethic as town planner Bob Nerney. So it’s not surprising that the announcement of his coming retirement was one First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice made by starting with a personal note.

“It is with a great mix of emotions, that I announce Bob Nerney, director of planning and land use management, will be resigning effective Feb. 7. On the one hand, there is excitement for Bob that he will be returning to his beginnings, a much larger environment, a city that served as the first Connecticut home for his family and which is only 10 minutes from his current home. On the other hand, without question Bob is the best in his profession and is one of the nicest individuals one can meet,” she wrote in a press release.

The news comes just shortly after Nerney completed his role in shepherding the 18-month process of revising the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development. Vanderslice referenced this in her statement.

“For over 18 years, Wilton has been well served by Bob’s thoughtful leadership and commitment to the community. Both are on regular display, including as he helped guide Wilton through the recently completed Plan of Conservation and Development, the recent increase in development activity, and the resolution of the proposed 8-30g development at 44 Westport Rd.,” she wrote.

“I know I speak for all Town employees and residents, when I say, Bob, we will miss you greatly and we wish you the best,” Vanderslice added.

According to the statement, Vanderslice will work with Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Scott Lawrence to present the Board of Selectmen with a recommended recruitment plan for Nerney’s successor.