Just who does the planning commission serve? — Applicants? Citizens opposing a project? The “public”? We resume our ethics & the planning commission series with a look at this question.
Being a Planning Commissioner
Local governments that are not actively engaged in listening and adapting their services to meet the needs and expectations of their customers and citizens are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.
There are some simple things you can do to help keep your plan or ordinance from hitting a brick wall at the end of the line. Here’s our Top Ten List of strategies that planning commissioners can use to build momentum for plan or ordinance adoption.
Jim Segedy and Lisa Hollingsworh-Segedy on what planning commissioners can do when faced with an “unadoptable” plan or ordinance — including having a “Plan B” strategy.
Have you ever bemoaned the fact that high school students don’t know much about how local government works or the importance of planning for the community’s future? Consider adding a high school student to your planning commission. Lessons from three communities.
As commissioners we are a diverse group with a multitude of interests. We bring our unique perspective to the table — and this is a good thing, for commissioners are not in place to be rubber stamps for the interests of others.
Attorney Alan C. Weinstein provides an overview of how to avoid violating Open Meetings laws — including situations that are particularly troublesome: meetings in executive session, site-visits, “informal” meetings with staff, and electronic communications.
An introduction to the goals and structure of open meeting laws — including a look at the key question: what constitutes a “meeting”?
“Territory folks should stick together, Territory folks should all be pals,” said Rodgers & Hammerstein in Oklahoma. How well do your planning commissioners, city councilors, and other city boards — like Territory folks — stick and work together?
Successful communities have strong leaders and committed citizens. It’s true: a small number of committed people can make a big difference in a community.
Yes, planning your agendas and having structure to meetings are both important. But there’s also often good reason to have some flexibility in how you run your planning commission meetings.
Our series wraps up, as our seven participants point to ways of strengthening the relationship between staff planners and planning commissioners.
Today, suggestions for staff planners — based on our participants’ experience as planning commissioners.