Shooting Yourself in the Permit

November 23, 2008 § Leave a comment

Dear Mayor Daley,

The City of Chicago Green Building Permit program is broken. A national environmental non-profit organization is setting up shop in Chicago. The permitting process for that project would have taken 3 weeks under the functioning program. Instead it took 3 months, and not because of incompetence or sloth, but because the staff has been cut by 75%.

Your budget deficit is massive, but by cutting building department staff, you’re shooting yourself in the permit. Permits lead to buildings which generate tax revenue, jobs, and material sales, and when completed support business development. Cutting staff may reduce direct cost, but it also hits the City’s top line revenue by slowing building-related economic activity City-wide. « Read the rest of this entry »


Sustainability is a Technology

November 19, 2008 § Leave a comment

Whether you’re a business executive, a volunteer or staff in the non-profit sector, helping government to function, or (we hope not) unemployed, you know how tight money is today. It’s difficult it is to find funds when you need them even for the best of causes. Then along come the next hot topic: Sustainability. So suddenly we are all expected, and expect ourselves, to take action. We face big issues: global warming, climate change, energy security, world hunger and poverty, import safety, food security, and many others. But if sustainability is seen as yet another thing you have to do — an extra item on your already full plate — how likely is it to get serious attention or real money? It will become just another charity, engaging us once or twice a year. And that is not going to do the trick. « Read the rest of this entry »

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