illustration by Marc Hughes for the PlannersWeb

Planning Staff

Many towns, cities, and counties employ planners to manage — in partnership with the planning commission — the local planning effort. It is important that the planning commission and staff agree on ways to foster a mutually beneficial relationship. Clarity regarding roles, duties, and expectations should be viewed as a top priority.

While the planing commission typically focuses on the “bigger picture” associated with policy, direction, and goal setting, the chief responsibility of planning staff involves providing technical assistance and guidance — and managing the planning office’s many functions on a day-to-day basis. This requires communication and coordination As a result, it is not surprising that planning staff are frequently found whizzing through all corners of the planning universe.