The Effective Planning Commissioner

New to a Planning Commission?

January 29th, 2013

So you’re new on the board! Now, what do you do?

You may have been appointed to fit a certain slot … developer, citizen, architect, etc. or because you are a well respected member of the community, or even a friend of the mayor.

Whatever the reason, you are now the newest member of your community’s planning commission or board. You will quickly realize there is much to learn, particularly the planning jargon the staff and more knowledgeable commission members toss around at will.

As you begin to attend meetings, you will find that although many parts of the agenda are routine, there soon is likely to be a controversial or contentious matter on which there are strong opinions, both from the members and the public. Or perhaps the controversy has been raging for some time and you come in the middle of it and are expected to have an opinion. As a first time citizen decision maker, you may be uneasy having to discuss your points of view or make decisions in front of the public.

You want to be effective. What are the most important matters you should consider?

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