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Thread: An article on Lake County FL

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast

    An article on Lake County FL

    This sounds like a department in need of big changes.
    And I thought things were only screwed up here!!
    This is the kind of stuff that's needs correcting and gives all public sector planners a black eye.

    Growth department may receive makeover
    Amid complaints of poor customer service and pro-growth bias, the county pushes for change.

    TAVARES - Citing poor customer service and pro-growth leanings, county commissioners sharply criticized Lake's growth-management department and recently decided to fix the problems.

    During a retreat last month, county officials relayed complaints about the department voiced by residents and city officials alike -- everything from rude staffers who gave bad information to upper-level planners advocating development...

    The push for better service came just before one of the county's key planners resigned from his post last week. Wayne Bennett, head of the growth department's division tasked with drafting Lake's comprehensive plan for development, didn't give a reason for his departure in a resignation letter.

    Bennett was criticized during the July 27 retreat for promoting a developer at a recent meeting.

    "He had not been asked a question, and he said, 'I applaud this developer . . .' " Commissioner Elaine Renick said. "Now, that, to me, that is a certain amount of trying to influence."

    Added to the list of complaints against the department is its "attitude problem," several county leaders said.

    Commissioner Linda Stewart said "some of the cities referred to the department as arrogant and obnoxious," according to the retreat's minutes.

    Habitual Offender

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries


    I wonder if any of these people were wearing their Economic Development hats while "planning?" That can cause these problems and create bad perceptions among the citizens.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  3. #3
    May 2006
    Islamorada, FL
    All -

    Please take this with a grain of salt. There are a ton of politics behind this. I have a good friend who worked with me who now works with Lake County as a higher level planner. Here, he was chastised for being too environmentally friendly, too strict, and he did bend some rules to protect the environment and restrict development.

    Now, he is in Lake County, and he is accused of being pro-development all the time.

    There is more than meets the eye here.

  4. #4
    Jul 2007
    Lake County has enormous problems and I hesitate to blame the planners for them. Even within the referenced article, it is pretty clear that there are agendas all over the place:

    In the article, according to Commissioner Renick, "[Bennett] said, 'I applaud this developer' . . . Now, that, to me, that is a certain amount of trying to influence."

    Huh? I've said "I applaud this developer for a landscape plan that goes beyond the county minimum standards" or something similar many times. Does that make me pro-growth or somehow in the pocket of a developer? Of course, I could say something like "I applaud this developer for making this community what it is" and then I might think he is in someone's pocket. Without context, it's nowhere near as clear as the author or Renick wants to make out that Bennett has done anything wrong. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's being misrepresented in this article because I know how a person's words can be twisted out of context.

    The larger point is that this has to be a nightmare of a situation to work in. I'm not sure how much a person could do in that sort of an insidious political environment, no matter how good a planner he was. Makes me happy to be where I am!

  5. #5
    Aug 2007
    Sanford, Florida
    I worked in Lake County for a short amount of time and I'll be the first to tell you that they do things very differently out there. Very - Differently.

    They don't like change, and are very political. I'm not surprised by this.

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