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The Planning Commission at Work

Getting the Job Done

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I recall the scene to this day. I had just been appointed to the Blacksburg Planning Commission. After a few congratulatory comments, the commission chairman told me that I would encounter few problems if I viewed my time on the commission as a job — something that requires an unqualified commitment of time and energy in order to get something done. That was among the best advice I received about serving on a planning commission.

Being a planning commissioner does indeed require time and energy. And in this regard it is akin to having a job. For some commissioners the time commitment is minimal; no more than an hour or two a week. For others, the time commitment is much greater. In fact, for some planning commissioners time is counted in days rather than hours.

The balance of this article will highlight strategies planning boards can employ to help commissioners get the job done. …

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