COUNTY OF SAN MATEO
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES AGENCY
September 1, 2005
BOARD MEETING DATE:
September 20, 2005
Honorable Board of Supervisors
Marcia Raines, Director of Environmental Services
Lisa Grote, Director of Community Development
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Response to Phase One of the Planning and Building Task Force Report
Accept the Report on Phase One: Internal Improvement Plan for the Planning and Building Division
Authorize the Division to implement the recommendations in the Report including meeting and conferring with affected employee organizations.
Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.
Goal(s): (20) Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impact, rather than temporary relief or immediate gain. (21) County employees understand, support and integrate the County vision and goals into their delivery of services. (22) County and local governments effectively communicate, collaborate and develop strategic approaches to issues affecting the entire County.
On June 21, 2005, the Planning and Building Task Force issued a report addressing concerns about the Planning and Building Division. The Task Force divided its recommendations into three phases. This report is the Division’s response to the first phase of the Task Force’s report and presents an Internal Improvement Plan for the Division to the Board of Supervisors (BOS).
The first recommendation the Task Force made was to return to a 30 to 40 project workload for each planner. In response to this recommendation, the Division has hired three consulting firms to process project backlog and reinstituted the unpaid internship program. In addition, the Division is recommending hiring a Senior Planner and a Permit Coordinator and changing an Office Specialist position to a permit technician, hiring a civil/structural engineer on a contract basis, redistributing administrative tasks and implementing a paid internship program. The Division is also recommending a complete review and evaluation of the organizational structure of the Division and returning to the Board in December 2005 with further recommendations regarding staffing and assignments.
The second recommendation the Task Force made was that provisions should be made for administrative decision-making within the Division. In response to this recommendation, the Division identified the types of applications that can be acted upon at the administrative level and committed to identifying additional types by December 2005.
The third recommendation the Task Force made was that opportunities of advancement within the Division should be increased. In response, the Division has implemented a training program and will be implementing cross-training programs, increased opportunities for intradivisional communication, and a plan for remodeling the Division offices and public counter area. The Division's recommendation to add a Senior Planner position and undertake an organization review will also help address this issue.
The fiscal impact on the General Fund of implementing Phase One responses is $470,600 annually. The total cost covers two new staff positions and money for contract services. There will be additional recommendations for new positions in December 2005 upon completion of a Division-wide organizational study.