illustration by Marc Hughes for the PlannersWeb


illustration by Marc Hughes for the PlannersWeb
For planning commissioners who have just concluded a heated public hearing, the happy citizens illustrated above must appear as a cruel joke. Perhaps, however, the citizens have just returned from a dynamic and exciting workshop helping to envision the community’s future!

Angry bears illustration by Paul Hoffman for PlannersWeb

Dealing With an Angry Public

A frequently faced, but seldom discussed, subject is how to deal with angry citizens at public meetings. Community relations consultant (the late) Debra Stein suggests ways of keeping cool when things get hot. With responses and ideas from our online reviewers.

illustration of graduation cap and diploma

Citizen Planning Academies

One of the major challenges facing most communities, and their planning boards, is how to explain planning and the planning process in terms citizens can understand. Mike Chandler looks at how “citizen planning academies” helped in two Virginia counties.

dialog bubble: What Gives You the Right?

Gaining Legitimacy

With local power structures breaking down, Otis White examines how commissioners and other public officials can gain “legitimacy” in the eyes of the public.

sign that says give respect

The “Riggins Rules”

Suggested do’s and don’ts for the conduct of public hearings, and the deportment of members of boards, commissions, and other bodies — reprinted as written by the late Fred Riggins.