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Video-Conference Training for Planning Commissioners

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What do Captain Kirk, George Jetson, and the Sheridan, Wyoming, Planning Commission have in common? All have used two way video-conferencing technologies to interact with colleagues at remote locations.

Providing planning commission training is always a challenge. Often training is limited to digesting a stack of planning documents before being served to a room full of angry citizens. Staff, overwhelmed with agenda items, has little time to conduct training. While state and national planning workshops are available, funds for planning commissioner travel are scarce. Video-conferencing offers an option to overcome these obstacles.

Although 477 miles separates the Wyoming towns of Sheridan and Evanston, video-conferencing enabled citizen planners from both communities (and several more) to receive training from two of the top land use attorneys in the country -- without leaving town. For most participants, this opportunity would not have been possible without the cost sharing benefits and convenience offered by the video-conference format. ...

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