The town has hired a new community planning administrator. Danielle McKnight started in the position on Jan. 3. She replaces Heidi Griffin, who resigned last May. McKnight, of Arlington, holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in comparative literature and a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University. She formerly was staff planner for the city of Salem for four years, according to Town Administrator Greg Balukonis. Prior to that, she worked as a planner/conservation agent for the town of Swampscott. As head of the town’s community planning department, McKnight is expected to help guide North Reading’s economic development and growth while maintaining the town’s rural residential character, Balukonis said.