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.