City development needs permitting upgrades

From the moment he arrived as Providence’s economic-development director, James Bennett said that he wanted the Capital City to be the fastest-permitting municipality in the country. More

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PBN Editorial

City development needs permitting upgrades

Posted 6/18/12

From the moment he arrived as Providence’s economic-development director, James Bennett said that he wanted the Capital City to be the fastest-permitting municipality in the country.

That goal was music to the ears of the business community, frustrated for years by a bureaucratic labyrinth that slowed economic development to a crawl.

Mr. Bennett has had other things on his plate since he took office last summer, but now he has turned his focus to this issue - and that can only be a good thing.

He has appointed a committee, to be chaired by the city’s director of administration, Michael D’Amico, to identify the changes needed to help the permitting process become a competitive advantage, not a hindrance.

Mr. Bennett expects that by summer, all the pertinent personnel will be located in one place, at 444 Westminster St. downtown. That is a good first step.

The next step, and the much more difficult one, will be getting all parts of the city’s bureaucracy on board with what Mayor Angel Taveras and Mr. Bennett want to accomplish. Good luck with that. •

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