Our series continues, as we ask our seven planners what advice they’d give to planning commissioners — based on their experience as staff planners.
Being a Planning Commissioner
Today, our seven planners tell us what most surprised them when they started serving on their planning commission.
We asked seven individuals who have served both as professional and citizen planners to reply to a series of short questions. Today, they explain what got them interested in serving on their community’s planning commission.
To avoid being seen as “just part of the system,” here are 10 ways to solidify your planning commission’s relevance.
To help you avoid the holes in the rocky road of being a planning commissioner, we present the Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Holding Public Hearings or Meetings.
How do we motivate commissioners to realize being on the planning commission requires a “commitment”? The more I thought about it, the more complex the answer seems to be.
Last month, we discussed how to handle planning commissioners who have little to say. This time, we are writing about the reverse … those who are often loud, obstreperous, interruptive, sometimes rude, boisterous — or simply garrulous.
How can a commission chair encourage shy members to speak up? They may be newcomers to the board reluctant to express an opinion; genuinely deep thinkers who need to know all the facts before saying anything; or disinterested or bored individuals.
Our national public discourse hasn’t been very good at real discussion lately. Even on TV news shows that claim to be “discussing” issues, what you too often hear is people talking over and shouting past each other. But planning commissions can set a positive example in public hearings and meetings.
As you begin to attend meetings, you will find that although many parts of the agenda are routine, there soon is likely to be a controversial or contentious matter. You may be uneasy having to discuss your points of view. But you want to be effective. What should you consider?
Take a look at the latest addition to the PlannersWeb. Our 12-part Resource Guide will provide you tips and ideas on how to better manage public hearings. The Resource Guide also points you to other relevant online information and documents.
Ted Shekell discusses ex-parte communications — and poses a brief hypothetical situation for your consideration.
Does your planning commission take a “walkabout approach” to public meetings. PlannersWeb contributing writers Jim Segedy & Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy explain why it can be very helpful to put on your walking shoes and go out for a group walk.