It appears the way to get city staff to move is to come to a public forum and bash the City Council.

People have been complaining about the amount of time it takes to get plans approved in Greensboro for decades and nothing of note has ever been done.

On Tuesday, March 7, two Chris Smiths, son and father, blasted the City Council saying that Greensboro was just about the most difficult place in the state to do business.

Four city councilmembers made statements in agreement with the Smiths’ position and asked City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba to take action and keep them informed of what was being done.

On Wednesday, March 8, Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson sent an email to city councilmembers informing them of the action he and Jaiyeoba were taking.

It should be no surprise that a big part of the solution to the problem according to Wilson and Jaiyeoba involves hiring more city employees.

Wilson states, “Some of the concerns are related to changes in state law and unfamiliarity with local ordinances, but most of the concerns are related to timeliness in plan review and inspections.  Much of the timeliness concern is directly correlated to the increased volume of Greensboro’s development and growth.  This increased volume is compounded by an inability to fill positions that require specific licensing and credentials.”

According to the email, the city plans to reclassify one position in the engineering and inspections department and add three new positions.

In the Water Resources department, the city plans to reclassify one position and create two new inspector positions.

In the Planning Department, the city plans to add three new positions and “Create consistency for Planner positions.”

In the Greensboro Department of Transportation, the city plans to reclassify one position and create two new positions.

In the Fire Department, the plan calls for the city to create four new positions.

The email also states, “Currently the City advertises a turnaround time of 10 – 15 days. Even with all the improvements we are advancing, the volume will not allow us to meet this timeframe. As it stands now, we frequently go past that in terms of days. Our new advertised timeframe will be 15 – 20 days so that we can more accurately convey expectations.”