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Good riddance to Pryor


Last updated 7/5/2007 at Noon

Gary Pryor, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU), and Ivan Holler, who oversaw General Plan 2020 for Pryor, are both headed out the door. Holler earlier announced his departure. This week we learned that Pryor has already left.

As I read about Pryor I unconsciously found myself humming that song from “The Wizard of Oz:” “Ding, dong, the witch is dead / Which old witch? / The wicked witch…”

It is probably no coincidence that both are exiting now, in view of the fact that GP2020, which was originally intended to take two years and has taken 10, still has no end in sight. It has become the county’s Vietnam, or, if you prefer a more modern analogy, its Iraq War.

Pryor, who introduced “Smart Growth” to county residents (I use “introduce” in the same sense that a vampire “introduces” its fangs into its victim’s neck) at the same time that he began GP2020, also promised that it would be a “bottom up” process, i.e. that communities would present their ideas for their towns’ futures and the county would implement them.

There was never a bigger lie, unless it’s that old one about “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” GP2020 somehow got out of control during those 10 years.

One of the DPLU’s biggest problems has been Pryor himself. When is the last time that you remember a top county bureaucrat who was almost as well known as the supervisors who sign his check? For that reason alone it’s amazing that Dianne Jacob and Bill Horn put up with him as long as they did. That Pryor is known – and loathed – by so many is a tribute to his innate ability to make and keep enemies wherever he goes.

Well, he’s gone now. We’ll see if the DPLU’s arrogant culture goes with him. Don’t hold your breath.

David Ross

Editor, Valley Roadrunner


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