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In my last column, I looked at the relationship between the planning commission and the local governing body. In this column, I want to shift the focus to the important, but often overlooked, relationship between the planning commission and the planning staff.
Historically, the emergence of the planning commission as an important component of local government played a major role in the birth — and growth — of the planning profession. Accordingly, it seems fair to suggest that the commission and staff share a close relationship. As such, a challenge facing both commission and staff centers on identifying ways the relationship can be cooperative, as well as beneficial.
The Role of Expectations
Relationships involve expectations. What expectations will or should a planning commission have of the planning staff? Likewise, what expectations will or should the planning staff have of the commission? Without discussing the expectations each has of the other, misunderstandings are likely to result. This, in turn, can lead to publicly aired disagreements or squabbling that reflects poorly on both staff and commissioners. …
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