SHELTON — The Planning and Zoning Commission now has an opening.

Vice Chair Anthony Pogoda Jr. on Wednesday submitted his resignation, effective immediately, from the commission on which he has served for nearly 27 years. Pogoda stated he is leaving because he is moving out of Shelton and unable to continue.

He said he did not want to comment further.

Pogoda “has been an extremely valuable, committed member of the commission,” said P&Z Chair Virginia Harger. “I relied heavily on his expertise. I will miss his input and advice.”

“He always looked at an application based on what was appropriate for the entire city of Shelton,” she said.

Harger said she will caucus with fellow Republican commissioners Charles Kelly and Mark Widomski to select Pogoda’s successor.

The commission has six members, four Republicans and two Democrats, with two alternates, one from each party.

Kelly said Pogoda’s strength was “telling you exactly how he felt about a project.

“His vote or opinion would always be for the betterment of Shelton,” said Kelly. “I am going to miss him first as a friend and second as a commissioner on the board. I wish him well as he starts a new chapter in his life.”

“Tony has been a long-time member of the Planning and Zoning commission and will be missed,” said Widomski. “He has brought years of knowledge to the commission discussions, much like former P and Z Administrator Rick Schultz did.

“He listened to the residents and their concerns and took that information into consideration when making his decisions,” added Widomski. “He has recently been against a number of high profile developments, and I will miss his independent non-partisan thinking. I wish him good luck and the best for him and his family.”

Democrat commissioner Elaine Matto wished Pogioda well.

“Tony Pogoda has been dedicated to the betterment of Shelton in his every action as a Planning and Zoning commissioner,” said Matto. “I’m sure it has been a hard decision to resign, but I know he loves the southern climate. I wish him well.”

Tickey, a Democrat, called Pogoda an outstanding member of the commission.

“He has led with his principles and conducted himself with the highest level of honesty and integrity,” added Tickey. “He has always spoken his mind even when not popular and acted in the best interests of the people of Shelton. He has been a pleasure to work with, and I will miss serving with him.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com