Two College Station workers placed on paid leave

Eagle Staff Report

Two high-level employees in College Station’s development services department are on paid leave this week as part of a restructuring initiated in the wake of a scathing “blue ribbon” report that detailed problems with the development review process.

City Planner Jane Kee, a 26-year city employee, was put on paid administrative leave Sept. 24. Development Manager Natalie Ruiz, who started working for College Station 14 years ago, went on paid leave Monday.

Development Services Director Joey Dunn, who began work in August, confirmed the two were on leave but said their future employment status remained undetermined.

“We’re taking a look at the structure of the department,” Dunn said Wednesday. “At an appropriate time, I’ll certainly unveil the whole plan.”

A far-reaching report from a seven-member blue ribbon committee of business owners and community leaders concluded last month that the city’s development review process was hindered by enforcement of unwritten rules and confusing standards.

Communication problems and hostility among city departments also plagued the development services staff, according to the report.

Builders of commercial and residential projects within the city must go through the development review process to receive permits.

Dunn said the restructuring was triggered by the committee’s report and developer and customer complaints.

“There is a need to provide better service. I’ve observed a number of things over the years,” said Dunn, the former city planner in Bryan. “There are a number of improvements that need to be made.”

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