Got this from the Governing Magazine website , from Otis White's column:
Know It Alls
What is the worst local government job in America? Lots of candidates, but here's a nominee: city planning director in a college town. Why would that be such a lousy job? Because college towns are full of high-IQ types who make their living by talking and offering opinions and have little regard for other professionals. That explains why Carol Barrett is leaving Berkeley, Calif., the college-town suburb of San Francisco. Barrett came to the planning director's job there with impressive credentials: former president of the Texas chapter of the American Planning Association, founding member of the college of fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planning, author of a book on ethics for planners. Sounds like she would fit right in at brainy Berkeley. A year and a half later, she's fleeing back to Texas. Says Chip Johnson, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason is that Berkeley's "vast array of activist-experts" made Barrett's life miserable. "The people she came in contact with, by phone and in person, often were zealous to the point of being irrational," Johnson writes. If she didn't give these people the answers they wanted, she was "personally maligned." Aren't people in Berkeley ashamed of the way they act? Nope. The publisher of the city's weekly paper proudly wrote that "putting up with that kind of intellectual critique has always been part of the job description for staffers in university towns, and it always will be." This explains why Berkeley is now looking for its fourth planning director in four years and why Barrett is looking forward to her return to sanity, "I want to work in a city where the planning commission is interested in professional ideas and recommendations," she says.