Leading/Responding to Development Streamlining Initiatives

APA Texas Chapter


Thursday, October 18, 2018
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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Planning agencies face significant challenges. Constrained tax revenues force many agencies to operate on tighter budgets with smaller staffs. Knowledgeable and experienced people are retiring. At the same time, planning agencies are called upon to provide more-responsive service, better collaboration with customers, increased transparency to the general public, and greater efforts to improve customer satisfaction. Today’s citizens and stakeholders demand fast, accurate, and consistent answers from government agencies—and they will clearly express their dissatisfaction if those expectations are not met. Customers now expect to be able to deal with agencies across a multitude of communications channels, including phone, e-mail, the Web, mobile devices, social media, and brick-and-mortar offices. Every planning supervisor should be focused on improving performance: knowing the details of what services you provide, how often, their cost, and ways to streamline the work. If you’re not focused on this, someone else will be. Sometimes it’s a mayor or city manager who gets the customer service initiative going. In those “top down” instances, planners need all their resiliency skills to maintain a positive attitude towards the analysis and recommendations whether they come from a city auditor or a consultant. Learn from professional is small, medium, and large cities how to benefit from a customer focused study of their operations and what lessons they learned. Hear some of the best practices for what you can do to improve customer service when you return to your agency.


Attendees will: 

1. Learn best practices for best practices improvements to customer service.

2. Understand the dynamics which motivate a community’s elected leaders to press for development streamlining.

3. Learn positive ways to respond to the challenges of external recommendations for changing the way you work with customers.


Rodney Gonzales

Rodney Gonzales is Director of Development Services for the City of Austin. Mr. Gonzales has over 20 years of experience in public finance, economic development, and redevelopment as a municipal official in key executive positions leading municipal finance and economic development departments. He led the Finance Departments for the City ... Read More

Fred Gibbs

Fred Gibbs is Director of Development Services, Town of Little Elm. Mr. Gibbs has more than 15 years of experience. He was previously the Director of Planning and Development of Corinth. He is able to build strong business relationships with diverse range of customers, co-workers, and management. Has experience managing ... Read More

John Webb

John is Director of Development Services, Town of Prosper, work one of the fastest growing communities in North Texas. He oversees the Planning, Building Inspections, and Code Enforcement Divisions. He has worked as a planner with small and mid-size cities and towns in Texas for over 34 years. John specializes ... Read More

Carol Barrett

Carol is currently working as a consultant to Zucker Systems. Previously she was Director of Planning and Development Services in San Marcos, and Assistant Director in the Planning and Environmental Conservation Services Department for the City of Austin. She has also worked in California as a Director in Berkeley, and ... Read More

Contact Info

Barbara Holly, rholly@spamarrest.com