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Have you asked yourself this question?
Do you know the answer?
The time required to be an effective planning commissioner can be enormous, and a true understanding of your motivations will make this effort more meaningful to you and your community.
In the classic book, The Job of the Planning Commissioner, Albert Solnit wrote: “Someone who can serve the long-range interests of a community, unbound by election promises, political expediency, or narrow interests is the definition of the good planning commissioner.”
Although there are as many reasons as there are planning commissioners, yours is probably a combination of three broad categories:
- Self-Actualization & Professional Development
- Personal & Group Special Interests
- Civic Engagement & Civil Service
Professional Development & Self Actualization — The Student of Life
Many planning commissioners view the planning commission as a means to become more self-actualized — to reach their personal growth potential in ways that are unavailable to them in their personal and professional lives. Parallel to this are the commissioners who participate as a way to further their professional knowledge and skills. These are the commissioners who have a background in land-related professions ranging from architects to realtors. For these commissioners, the planning commission provides valuable learning experience. For the “Student of Life” the public hearing is a classroom for civic instruction and professional real-world training. In turn, these commissioners often provide perspectives that include technical expertise and openness to new ideas.
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