Former planner, chief of staff in Warwick hired to head planning in North Smithfield

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A longtime municipal employee with decades of experience in planning as well as other roles in government has been hired as planner for the town of North Smithfield.

Mark Carruolo was appointed to the position by Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski, and had his first day on the job on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

A 59-year-old Providence native, Carruolo holds a bachelor’s in urban affairs and political science from the University of Rhode Island, and has a master’s degree in planning, according to Zwolenski.

Carruolo began his career in municipal government in 1984 in the Warwick Department of Public Works as a draftsman, working his way through the ranks to director of planning for the city. He also served on Warwick’s Zoning Board Review and History District Commission, and spent decades as a coach for Warwick Junior Hockey.

In 2011, he was named chief of staff for Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a role he retired from in 2014. Soon after, he took a job as town planner in West Warwick, where he has also served as interim town manager. In 2020, he was named planner for the town of Exeter, but ultimately turned down the job citing personal conflicts.

He replaces former North Smithfield Planner Tom Kravitz, who resigned in August to take a job for the city of Warwick.

Zwolenski said there were nine applicants for the position, which is normally filled via a recommendation from the Planning Board.

“It was a whole different process. I changed it,” Zwolenski said of the appointment.

Instead, the administrator and staff from various departments including planning officials conducted interviews over a two day period.

“His background is extensive,” said Zwolenski of his pick. “He’s highly, highly qualified.”

Carruolo is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and a member of the American Planning Association.

“I think he’s a wonderful addition who’s going to really impress everybody,” Zwolenski said.

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