Two More Planners Exit Ada County

The GUARDIAN has it on good authority two more employees of the Ada County Development Services have left. They are dropping like flies.

The sudden departure Monday of veterans Mike McClenahan, who ran the “support services” and Scott Cook, a planner, have tongues wagging in the courthouse. Some speculate the departure of these two highly regarded professionals has something to do with a reorganization of duties among the Commishes.

Commish Paul Woods was overseeing the planning functions, but he recently switched with Commish Fred Tilman who now is the liaison to the development services staff.

Last week Development Director, Gerry Armstrong, announced his resignation to join Hubble Homes as director of planning for the private development firm. Armstrong will officially leave his position May 16 and join Hubble the next day. He joined former Commish Judy Peavey who is Hubble’s director of governmental affairs.

Earlier this year county planner Mark Pecchenino left the development services office after it was revealed he was moonlighting for Elmore County. He is currently a private consultant for developers.

So much turnover and a law suit filed by Save the Plateau activist Tony Jones claiming unfair treatment from Ada County at a public hearing could make for an interesting summer on the development front.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Wow. Well, good for them. However, I am really surprised that there are not ethics rules / laws in place preventing such an occurrence. You know… You can’t go to work for those you had authority over for a couple of years, sorta thing. Conflict, and all.

    EDITOR NOTE–Both these guys seem to have good reps and will probably stay in government elsewhere according to what we hear.

  2. Humm… you wonder who the developers will replace them with?

  3. It is very difficult to keep quality employees on a planning staff in the government in a State that promotes an individual’s ability to use their property for benefit as strongly as Idaho does.

    Government “planners” are not planners at all, they are administrators of the law. They don’t have authority over anyone. The law has authority. The department is called Development Services for a reason. They are their to interpret Zoning and Subdivision law. Not there to “plan” what will take place on someone else’s private property. They aren’t given a huge amount of discretion to make interpretation, simply paid to evaluate applications for compliance with current law.

    That get’s very frustrating for well educated, good intending public servants who see a better way of doing things but lack the authority to do anything about it. So, they move on to greener pastures…

  4. Does the job come with a membership to the Arid Club? Where do I apply?

  5. “Administrators of the Law”. Yes, indeed. But if you’ve ever had to work with Fire Marshals, Code Inspectors, etc., you know very well that “they” can make or break you. Legal nuances aside, and barring a prominent law firm on retainer, we are all under the yoke, and at the mercy, of various “Authorities” all day, every day. Legally and otherwise.

    And to entertain for a second the thought that staffers weren’t hired away by developers precisely because they have connections within the organization that “administers the law” as it pertains to their developments, with the expectation of BIG-BIG-bang-for-the-buck is, please forgive me, naive.

    In this world there’s the paper version of how things work, and then there’s reality.

    But I say again… Bravo and Brava to those folks that have found greener pastures. My concern is for the seeming lack of ethics rules in this regard that allows this to occur.

  6. Depending who the new hires are, this could be a big loss for Ada County. Under Gerry Armstrong, the county’s vision for the North Foothills looked alot better than Eagle’s vision for the same area to the tune of 12,000 less homes. The current exodus from Development Services has more to do with interoffice politics than the leaving for greener pastures.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: