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Office politics-

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
So maybe I'm a little niave, but if one planner reams people for suggesting to applicants we could get them through faster with all of the ifs, whens, and additions added in, why would they then go to the counter and tell another planner's applicant, "sure no problem! well, make it for..." and act like they're totally in the right?

The applicant is mine, I have been working with him since January. I told the other planner this and the planner snapped back, "I don't want to get into it right now!" Yeah, well, you just told my applicant when I would take him to P&Z. ARGH! This applicant is crabby to- the kind that will call a council member and throw a tantrum if he doesn't get on the agenda he was told by this other planner. Problem is, his appliaction isn't complete so I will not be advertising tomorrow and he will not be going on the promised agneda. Beyond that, the planner tried ot cover their tracks by saying, "I didn't promise anything."- but they did cirlce the dates on our public hearing schedule and give it to the applicant. Other issue: this planner who did this would run tattling if anyone did this to one of their cases, and has done so before.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I guess if he hasn't submitted all of the required materials you could tell him that he is not on the agenda and if he complains that the other planner said he could be, tell him that you are the person handling the application and you determined that he didn't have enough stuff to go forward.

I hate crap like that. I also when applicants ask you something and if they don't like your answer they go to another planner to 1) see if they can bypass you; or 2) try and create staff conflict by either lying or getting different answers.

I had one guy who needed a conditional use hearing for a tenant in his building. When I spoke to him he was all nice and cooperative, then I find out that he is calling other people above me whining and lying until he got his way.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
jtfortin said:
I hate crap like that. I also when applicants ask you something and if they don't like your answer they go to another planner to 1) see if they can bypass you; or 2) try and create staff conflict by either lying or getting different answers.

The problem is, when developers go to another planner, they often DO get another answer. When this is the case, why would anyone take an answer they don’t like when they don’t have to?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating this, rather just stating my observations that I have seen occur in multiple municipalities. What could/should be done about this? To improve the process?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
It seems to me that this other planner should either 1) now have the honor of working with this applicant who was promised a meeting date that can't be met, or 2) call up the applicant to tell him that he won't be heard on that date because he has not submitted his materials.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
Huston said:
The problem is, when developers go to another planner, they often DO get another answer. When this is the case, why would anyone take an answer they don’t like when they don’t have to?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating this, rather just stating my observations that I have seen occur in multiple municipalities. What could/should be done about this? To improve the process?
The department head has the responsibility to have a clear set of procedures to avoid such b***sh**. And all staff members should two the department line, which ideally states something to the effect of: "Applicants work with the same planner from start to finish, unless the Director re-assigns the project for due cause."
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
I am an applicant, day in and day out and never would go to another planner/project manager looking for favorable response.

Tell the guy you are in charge of the application and he's not going anywhere til the application is complete.

On the other side, Can you get away with advertising and telling the commission/board that you recommend denial because the application is incomplete?

That's a nice poke in the eye.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
SGB said:
The department head has the responsibility to have a clear set of procedures to avoid such b***sh**. And all staff members should two the department line, which ideally states something to the effect of: "Applicants work with the same planner from start to finish, unless the Director re-assigns the project for due cause."
That's what we have, and I was cleary stated as the planner. We've all been told to tell an applicant "after the case is assigned and the case planner has had a chance to look the application over they will be in contact and will try to work with you on dates, bearing in mind that we have legal notifications and review procedures that every case must go through before going forward".

Even when applicants ask me about how long it takes I always tell them it's a two way street- the faster the appliacnt responds with the requested materials and revisions (and the more willing the are to bend over- hee) the faster they get through.

At least I have it documented that I've told him these things, he can't say I didn't warn him!
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I would remove the applicant from the agenda, write them a letter detailing why they are not on the agenda, and give them a submittal deadline for the next meeting.

If they are not on the agenda, the Plan Commission cannot even discuss the item. At least that is the case here.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
When I was in planning/zoning (up until 8 months ago) I was the sole authority who determined application sufficiency. Then when it was sufficient I assigned the case to a planner. I sent out the deficiency letters, and was the only one the applicants dealt with until they were on the agenda. Can you try that? If not, get a checklist that the planner consulted by the applicant has to fill out, detailing the deficiencies. Then if another planner screws up, you will have proof in his/her handwriting.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
P.S. , I was not even the "ranking" planner, just the one who had been in zoning longest and knew best how to deal with the various developers. Any planner who knows the rules could do this.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I'm pretty lucky. We have three planners - a residential, a major commercial and I'm minor commercial, and we all stay pretty well out of each others projects.

Every once in a while, an applicant will try to play me and the other commercial guy off each other, but our office communicates extremely well and can detect this crap pretty early on.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Prudence and I handle all of the current planning contacts, and we tend to be on the same page unless I forget to tell him something important, then leave the office for two days.... but that never happens. ;)

It only bothers me when a petitioner doesnt get their way, then schedules the 'private' meeting with the Mayor to try to over ride staff comments.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
bturk said:
Prudence and I handle all of the current planning contacts, and we tend to be on the same page unless I forget to tell him something important, then leave the office for two days.... but that never happens. ;)

It only bothers me when a petitioner doesnt get their way, then schedules the 'private' meeting with the Mayor to try to over ride staff comments.
It amazes me when people think if they call a council member they'll get further- most of them defer to staff anyway.
 
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