Village responds to letter from Dr. James A. Thomas

To the Editor:

We are saddened to hear about Dr. James A. Thomas’ experience at the village. We want him to know we have looked into each and every one of the issues he havs raised.

Our team at Village Hall will be using his observations as a learning opportunity so that we may continue to improve the customer service experience for all of our residents.

Based on the investigation of the issues raised, here are the facts as we know them.

Dr. James A. Thomas applied for a permit on Wednesday, Mar. 31, 2016. The typical time for processing such a permit is five business days. In his case, it took eight days due to some of the observations he provided regarding the way our staff handled his query. Our village cannot dictate timetables for service to Miami-Dade County RER (Formerly DERM) or Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, who each have a specific role in the permitting process that we follow, as established by the rules of Miami-Dade County.

We’re sorry he felt his specific case was bogged down in an inefficient process. We are undertaking a comprehensive review of the requirements to ensure we streamline the process. We have addressed the customer service issues he raised about our staff, and have provided them with new training.

We also want to assure that the process is on an equal playing field for all residents and potential new businesses. The village does not take applications out of order in the process, based on the applicant’s personal relationships or political connections. As the village manager, I have instructed the entire village staff to make sure everyone is treated equally and fairly.

Please be assured we welcome feedback and have used his observations as an opportunity to improve our services.

Edward Silva

Village Manager, Palmetto Bay

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