Where’s The Beef?

January 26, 2006

A few months back, at a special meeting on November 7th there was a loud clamor over at the town council meeting. At first, we thought maybe Mrs. O’Leary and her friend Bessie were kicking up their hooves again but it seems as if a different kind of fire had caught hold of our Town.

Lots of Woodsiders were upset with the permitting process and with the treatment they were receiving in the building, planning and engineering department and, despite their fear of retribution from staff, came to the meeting to speak their mind. While everyone there was polite, they nevertheless told some sad stories and voiced real fears. When most everyone voiced concerns that staff might initiate reprisals, we were a bit surprised anyone could chew their cud afterward. Instead, none of the Council or Susan George herself even questioned this possibility.

The Town plan review process is broken. We’re happy the council agreed that the process needs fixing but what about dealing with the notion that it’s acceptable to have a staff like this? Susan George went so far as to say “I really am concerned, and I accept full responsibility for whatever is broken about the process.” It’s in the Almanac.

By the time the dust cleared, Ms. George had agreed to hold a series of meetings to get to the bottom of the problem and provide some good fixes. This doesn’t really bode well – after all isn’t she the head of staff? Hasn’t staff been taking her orders for years? Haven’t all these problems already gone to her for resolution and she has instead sided with staff? But now to “protect” the citizenry from staff she will hold “private” meetings?


It’s been 2 and a half months since that fateful night and we haven’t heard another peep. Have you?
We’ve seen nothing in the Almanac about meetings taking place. Have you? We’ve even canvassed a number of our family and friends who have built in Woodside in the last few years and so far none of them have received any notice either…

0 Comments on “Where’s The Beef?

  1. Anonymous

    I have seen a note in the Woodside mailer from Susan George relaying the potential fixes in the system and a reference to a “committee” being formed. As far as I am concerned it is just more bureaucratic posturing to delay resolution of the real problems that exist at the Building and Planning department.

    Everyone seems to forget that we as Woodside citizens are the ones that pay the salaries of the Building and Planning staff. I knock my head against the wall everytime I visit the department counter or have to deal with the staff because I know it is my money that is paying these people to torture me with their inconsistencies, mistakes and delayed responses. No public or private company would be run with such unprofessionalism, mismanagement and a complete lack of customer service that the Building and Planning Department demonstrates. If they were they would go bankrupt.

    I think the whole system at the department has snowballed in to a bureaucratic, inefficient and strongarming nightmare. The crux of the problem lies with the head Town Engineer and Asst. Town Manager who has “power” personality issues and should have retired years ago. Once they get rid of him then you are left with a staff whose real intentions are to improve the system for the Woodsiders that they work for. Not even the staff likes or wants to work with the guy. Please can’t someone give him early retirement or something so we can move forward????

    In the meantime I will continue to trudge forward in hopes of someday never having to deal with the Town again and I will advise everyone I know to never buy property in this Town and if you do never remodel or attempt to build a house.

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