City creates new position to aid planning department

GREENFIELD — Jenna Harbin is a southern Indiana native, but she’s excited to be in Greenfield.

This week, she started her new job as the planning associate in the city’s building and planning department.

The planning associate is a new position for the city of Greenfield. After the city council eliminated a zoning inspector position in 2009, the city continued to grow.

In 2014, the city council approved adding the position, and Harbin was hired to help with current and long-range planning needs and to serve as a zoning inspector for code enforcement. City officials hope she will also play a critical role in moving downtown revitalization plans forward by helping the department secure grants.

A 2012 Indiana State University graduate, Harbin received her master’s degree in urban planning from Ball State University in 2014.

Before starting in Greenfield, she worked with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority as a real estate underwriter and worked with youth to develop plans to improve their cities.

Harbin said she’s excited to work in a community so focused on walkability and creating trails for residents.

While working toward her master’s degree, much of her studies focused on creating healthy lifestyles through trails and parks.

“It was the right time to jump,” she said of accepting a job in Greenfield.

City Planning Director Joanie Fitzwater said she’s excited to utilize Harbin’s experience in the office as the city looks to build additional trails and walking opportunities, such as the Riley Art and Literary Trail.

Her experience “fits really well into our idea of providing community pedestrian connectivity for healthy lifestyles,” Fitzwater said.

Harbin, who currently lives in Fishers, will be charged with completing a variety of assignments and duties in the planning and building office.

In addition to code enforcement and planning, Fitzwater hopes to use Harbin’s Geographic Information System skills to educate the public about future projects through presentations and discussions. And with an extra employee in the office, the building and planning department can seek more grants.

“She’s going to wear many hats,” Fitzwater said. “I am excited to have a fresh viewpoint, new skills and additional help in the department, both from a planning and from a code-enforcement standpoint.

Besides working for the state, Harbin has also worked in Albany and Madison County. Her experience, officials said, made her the right candidate for the job.

“We’re confident this young lady will hit the ground running,” said Mayor Chuck Fewell.

Harbin said she thinks Greenfield will be the perfect fit for her, and she’s looking forward to help make the city a better place to live for all residents.

“I’m really excited to be here. I think it will be really fun,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to being able to expand on what I learned in school and being able to do the practical, reality side of it.”

At a glance

Name: Jenna Harbin

Position: Planning associate for the city of Greenfield

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University, master’s degree in urban planning from Ball State University.

Previous experience: Real estate underwriter for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority

Hourly rate: $21.97

Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or