Thursday, October 25, 2007

Joe Wilson Gets Specific

In answer to my earlier question, candidate Joe Wilson writes in the comments on his blog,

David, one thing that comes to mind is engineered standards. We often see projects of the same relative size and scope differ greatly in their engineering. For example one site may have a pile of rock in the bottom of a retention pond called a “baffle” and the other may require a series of earthen baffles and a skimmer for the same size pond in the same area. This is because different engineers use different methods. Anyway the point I am trying to make is the city should standardize engineering requirements to simplify the TRC Technical Review Committee process.

Once you get a plat map of your site submitted to the city it goes into “TRC” and 13 different heads of departments look it over and return comments and your engineer makes the changes required by the comments,it is then resubmitted for more comments and changes up to 3 times until it is finally approved. Then you have to have 5 people sign off on the thing and finally it gets approved. The current contact person who is Jimmy Person usually takes it to the city clerk for recordation within a week. My last plat map took 101 days to approve and record.

So the addition of one person attached to the executive department is going to speed this up how? let’s say on average they look at 15 new plans a month, So now as it stands developers and their engineers have 13 points of contact, so getting an answer is pretty quick. The new position the “Special Assistant to the City Manager” has to contact as many as 13 people about as many as 15 plans and then report to the engineers to solve the problem. How does one person do the work of 13 people more efficiently than they can do it themselves? I bet he or she will be expensive.

I understand that the job is only supposed to deal with problems that arise but I just illustrated that every plan submitted has re-writes and changes that have to be communicated, I just think it’s a needless addition of more bureaucracy and not too mention that the person in this position will come into contact with every developer in the city one on one as a City representative. in a position of power. Once again they’ve created the possibility a person of influence entering politics with a lot of support from developers. When will we ever learn that perception is reality in the mind of the public. I have lots more to say just not lots of time right now. let me hear from you.

That's plenty specific! I'm going to forward this to city manager Mitch Johnson and see if he'd like to respond.

I'm less concerned that the liaison would enter politics as the cat's paw of developers than that the liaison would become a lackey for development interests working for the city.

But what part of the current process, that's admittedly very complicted, could be or should be eliminated?

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