- As Director of Permitting and Land Use, oversaw the overhaul of a poorly functioning and demoralized permitting operation in Milford, Connecticut into a model of efficiency and customer service.
- As Assistant to the City Manager, led a 2-year, 4-department initiative to reform Bellevue, Washington's land use, utility, building, and fire permitting activities. Project was selected for presentation at the Innovations in Government Conference in Tampa, Florida.
- For Concord, Massachusetts, developed a user-friendly guide to permitting and land use activities for use by residents and businesses seeking to obtain planning and building permit approvals.
- Participated in permitting operations reviews for municipalities across the US, including: Kissimmee, Florida; DeKalb County, Georgia; Westminster, Colorado; East Point, Georgia; O'Fallon, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; Blacksburg, Virginia; Downey, California; and Redlands, California.
Permitting is one of the most challenging areas of service delivery for cities, towns, and counties. It is also an area that tends to generate a lot of complaints to elected officials. Common problems in the permitting realm include poor communication, complicated and confusing processes, perceived lack of customer service, low morale and "Management by Anecdote" where faults are identified just by customer complaints.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current permitting system
Learnfrom customers and stakeholders what is and is not working about the system
Prepare a plan for improvement
Implement reforms, including permitting software
Draft customer education materials, including handouts, redesigned web pages, checklists, and clear, complete application forms
Create accountability, including performance targets and measurements, so that you can track how the system is working.
Elected officials and managers looking for a way to "fix" their permitting system often seek a silver bullet, such as new software or a new organizational structure. In fact, to truly reform your permitting processes you need to tackle the system on multiple fronts: