EMPIRE FALLS: Kirk Girard out at Building and Planning?

Inside sources say longtime Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard will no longer run the Building and Planning Divisions. He will retain control of Economic Development and Natural Resources, at least for now.

No specific reasons were given for the change–probably because the list is too damn long. Girard’s recent cock-up over the multifamily housing rezone was likely just the last straw.

So what does this mean for the Community Development Disservices Department? Will Girard continue to draw a full salary for half the job?

And who will run the Building and Planning Divisions? Will those functions be outsourced to the private sector as some have suggested?

Most important–What will become of the General Plan Update? No one’s ever accused us of being very smart, but the answer to this one seems obvious even to us:

It’s game on, bitches.

Update:

The matter might be tied to this item on the Supervisors’ closed session agenda for Tuesday:

“It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors to meet in closed session to consider the Public Employee Performance Evaluation for the position of Director of Community Development Services pursuant to Government Code Sections 54954.5 and 54957.

New and Improved Update:

After hearing two McKinleyville and Cutten residents remind the Supervisors of their personal experiences dealing with a rude Girard and his inability to actually hear the people he is forced to listen to, County Counsel Wendy Chaitin reported in the afternoon meeting that the board met in closed session to discuss Girard and unanimously voted to punt the issue to the Oct. 11 meeting.

 

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Geologic Timescale: County finaly agrees to more realistic GPU pace

After an embarrassing public hearing where they had to admit they suck at communicating with even the most obvious and recognizable forms of local government entities, the county’s Community Development Services Dept. head honchos this week quietly issued a more conservative timescale for their General Plan Update process to better inform residents about upcoming public-input opportunities.
Although tensions are running high over the location and amount of growth that should be allowed under the new and controversial General Plan, one thing remains clear:  residents, their children, their children’s children, their children, as well as the next 40 generations of their children, will have a chance to give their 3-minutes worth of input to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors over the next 21 eons while the GPU is finalized.

Community Development Disservices Department goes on the offensive

The Times-Standard today published a 650-word snark-fest by Martha Spencer, a senior Community Development Services planner who has worked on the county’s General Plan Update for the past eight or nine years.

Her message? Critics of the GPU process are “special interest groups” that don’t know what they’re talking about. In her view, the process hasn’t taken too long. It hasn’t cost too much. Oh and they’re gonna start issuing news releases!! Yay that. But there won’t be anymore pesky advisory groups, because the department has listened to this community’s crap for long enough already, thanks.

Well you’re welcome, Martha! And here’s a little something else. Since online comments to this My Word mysteriously disappeared, one Mirror reader asked us to add this message–if, you know, y’all can bear anymore of that irritating community input:

The level of acrimony expressed in this piece verges on disdain. If the intent were to bring people together by providing accurate or at least “official” information, you fail.

I agree that there has been misinformation but would note that much of it comes from the Community Development Services Department. Your Housing Element is and was a fraud, and probably an intentional one, so when you want to accuse others of spreading misinformation you might give some thought to what the pot said to the kettle and why, as a result, no one bothers to listen.

Too, it sounds like the big news being announced here is that you are now going to start issuing news releases. This announcement was made in such a way that assumed some level of interest by the general public, even though I’ve never heard one person suggest that what’s missing from the General Plan Update is a concerted public relations effort.

Rather, what’s missing is leadership, truthfulness, and a desire to act in the best interests of this community, rather than cover your asses and score political points. This letter corrects none of these defects.

Word.

Quick fun fact: Kirk Girard still sucks

Creepy Little Red Devil

Creepy Little Red Devil

In a General Plan Update nine years in the making, why might it be necessary to rush an item through the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday without allowing time for either staff or public review?

The item in this case is an annual report updating progress (or the lack thereof) on the GPU. And the reason for the rush? It was due April 1.

Fortunately, Larry Glass and Linda Atkins aren’t on the board, or the item would need to be delayed until Christmas for those two to plow through all 28 pages.

But seriously, Kirk. Think about it. You missed a filing deadline on an item that’s being rushed because you missed a filing deadline.

Will we ever reach the point where you become as embarrassed as the rest of us by how badly you perform your job, or are we just wishful thinking?