I spent the morning at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services. Ugh... right? Actually.... actually, I have to admit, this was probably the most pleasant experience I have ever had with a governmental agency. I had already secured the idea of the DMV, State Records, County departments in my head. This was something quite different.
Different is the key word here. What this particular department has done is set themselves up in a collaborative environment to interact with the community. Every day from 7:30am - 9:30am they have an open floor policy, whereby citizens can sign their name, their purpose, and then immediately start connecting with agents who have expertise in specific domains.
Let me clarify the situation with My example: I showed-up at 8am with a bunch of questions surrounding, A: Wetlands+Critical Area; B: Clearing+Development; C: Permitting; D: Septic+Well.
The lady at the counter tells me that she has paged 4 different individuals who specialize in my specific needs, each of which would meet with me.
First, I spoke to an Environmentalist who literally answered every question I could possibly manifest on the topic of wetlands, streams and critical zoning.
Second, I met with the Clearing and Development specialist who told me all of my limitations, exceptions, loop holes, and boundaries were.
Third, the permit lady was unfortunately not in the office, but quickly responded to my inquiries over the phone.
Fourth, the Septic and Water guru talked me through all the necessary steps I would need to take in order to qualify my water source and disposal.
I connected with 4 people today that completely satisfied all of my needs for this particular occasion. That is so rare at the public level.... and I have to say I am totally impressed.
I work in Tech and Real Estate. I love both of them.