Pasco County board members are tired of constant delays in processing permits through their system.
Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley drew attention to the issue during the board’s March 7 meeting.
“I’ve been here six years … and for six years I’ve heard from many, many people that they would no longer do business in Pasco County because they can’t get a permit through our department,” Oakley told his colleagues.
He said he understands that some of the problems are a result of information missing from applications or difficulty in accessing information that’s in the system the county uses to process applications.
Whatever the reason, Oakley told County Administrator Mike Carballa that he wants the problem fixed.
“I always hear how long it takes to get a permit. It just continues. I’m just tired of it,” Oakley said. “I think it’s time that we really do something in that department, to straighten it up. It hasn’t changed,” Oakley said.
“I’m just tired of dealing with it. We need to have some changes. It’s got to happen. It can’t go any longer,” he said.
“I don’t know what we have to do, but we have to do something,” Oakley said.
Other county board members weighed in, too.
“I echo Commissioner Oakley,” Commissioner Seth Weightman said, noting he’s been compiling a folder of examples of problems with the process.
He said he’s identified steps within the process where failures are occurring.
Weightman added that these “are real-life examples, not just constructive criticism that the public shares with us.”
Commission Chairman Jack Mariano agreed with Oakley’s observation that too much time is spent following up on issues that should have been handled correctly the first time.
“It is such a burden to follow up over and over with these projects that are going on,” Mariano said.
Mariano said he has faith that Carballa will address the issue.
“He’s already started some changes,” Mariano said.
He also suggested a new approach.
“Maybe we need somebody to just take an application that comes in.
“Get a person to take the application and then let that person then walk it through, set up some type of new system.
“We definitely need some action,” Mariano said.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said she’s encountered similar complaints.
She said she had just forwarded some information to county staff about a constituent who has been trying to get a certificate of occupancy for his business since October.
“It just takes too long. It’s too long,” Starkey said.
Published March 22, 2023