A frequently faced, but seldom discussed, subject is how to deal with angry citizens at public meetings. Community relations consultant (the late) Debra Stein suggests ways of keeping cool when things get hot. With responses and ideas from our online reviewers.
Why has fighting development become a national pastime? Edward McMahon takes a hard look at this question, and offers some suggestions for both developers and planners to consider.
One of the major challenges facing most communities, and their planning boards, is how to explain planning and the planning process in terms citizens can understand. Mike Chandler looks at how “citizen planning academies” helped in two Virginia counties.
You have to give respect to get respect, says Elaine Cogan in her look at ways in which planning commissioners can gain respect from the public they serve.
With local power structures breaking down, Otis White examines how commissioners and other public officials can gain “legitimacy” in the eyes of the public.
Why it’s important as a planning commissioner to take the time to meet people outside your own circle.
To get an idea of what the public customer really faces, try approaching your planning office as if you were a citizen going there for the first time. Ideas on how to see whether your planning office works for the public.
Suggested do’s and don’ts for the conduct of public hearings, and the deportment of members of boards, commissions, and other bodies — reprinted as written by the late Fred Riggins.
Do volunteers assist your planning commission with any of its work? Eileen Hennessy discusses how you can best utilize the talents of people in your community.
Mediation is increasingly being used to deal with difficult land use disputes. A look at how land use mediation works and when it is most effective.
Do you listen to what members of the public say at your planning commission meetings? Do people know that you’re listening?
Planning officials are coming to realize that customer service isn’t just a concern of business. How some planning programs have found that improving communications can lead to more effective customer service.