A "Work Group"? Uh oh.
Apparently overwhelmed by having to make a decision where the facts are lining up against their impulses, the County Council last night announced that, rather than hire another expert to study the impact fee issue, they will form a "work group."
What's wrong with a "work group", you might ask? Well, according to Cathy Vitale, Council Chair, the group will be comprised of approximately 10 people representing "a broad spectrum of interests." That "broad spectrum" will no doubt include individuals from the construction, development, and business communities. In other words, the Council is inviting the foxes to take up guard of the henhouse.
A sham "work group" was set up when the impact fees were last revised in 2000, and not surprisingly, the group's recommendation was well below where the County consultant had pegged a full cost recovery fee.
By taking this step, the Council is passing the buck, making what is essentially a science based decision (i.e., what is the real cost of new development?) into a political one (i.e., how much is the development community going to allow us to raise this fee?).