Communication: key to good government.

Someone should write that book and give it to our “leaders.”

I once had to read the book Communication: key to your marriage, which was full of cliches, dull anecdotes, and painfully obvious advice. But the thesis of the book is true; if you can’t communicate with your partner, your marriage won’t work.

The same is true for government; if different branches of government can’t talk to one another, the city won’t work.

There are too many cases of poor or non-existent communication in this city to mention them all: wilder-council, wilder-school board, school board-school board. The school board issues in particular have riled up community activists and politicians who rightly point out who suffers in these spats.

But it’s not just the children in our educational system who are suffering, people. Won’t you think about the plight of the high-rise condo developers for a change?

A fight about the high-rise proposal Echo Harbour has been brewing for a while now. At issue is land that RRHA, the city’s housing authority, sold to the developers to provide emergency access to the development.

Now that RRHA’s former executive director, Sheila Hill-Christian, is Wilder’s Chief Administrative Officer, she’s convinced RRHA to reverse their decision and “un-sell” the land.

And it’s all due to poor communication, she alleges to the TD.

But after she was tapped by Wilder and confirmed as the city’s chief administrative officer, she informed the authority’s board in November that she was unaware the city opposed the deal, and she asked the panel to reconsider.

The results of this lack of communication?

The developer of the proposed Echo Harbour condominiums filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority over its attempt to back out of a contract for two riverfront lots.

All because the city administration forgot to mention that it opposed using this land in a way consistent with the current (not draft) master plan.

Oops.

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