Your story headline “City wants to cut red tape” could be an April Fool’s Day joke! Adding another layer of overview to the development process is not cutting red tape but adding more delay and expense to an already Byzantine overview permitting/development/revenue generating process. Are your reporters attending the same City Council meeting that I am? I can’t help but wonder.
Because this paper brought up the issue of transparency in city government, I was disappointed when the city clerk at the last council meeting stated that she had responded to a Freedom of Information request from Camarillo Springs homeowners and produced a CD of her interpretation of what the group was looking for. The City Council, city attorney and city manager continue to play a game of hide the marbles with public information by refusing to allow the maximum exposure to this information to interested citizens. The city clerk by self admission has all of this information in electronic form, so posting them online and making them accessible via the city website would cost the city nothing.
Of course, for the Camarillo Springs homeowners, their request exposes not just the city’s restriction on the public’s right to know but lays bare the value that the permitting/development/inspection process implies because there is no value added. Anyone using simple logic could rightfully deduce that allowing a development at the base of a geologically unstable hill is dangerous and unsafe. Sadly, the Camarillo Springs homeowners are paying a very steep cost for assuming that when the city approves a development they are purchasing homes that are safe and sound.