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Thread: Serving on local planning boards

  1. #1
    Cyburbian big_g's avatar
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    Serving on local planning boards

    I was recently appointed to my community's city planning commission. I am very familiar with the processes and parlimentary rules etc. I wondering if any of you who have had the opportunity to serve on a local board, have any advice.

    Does having a degree or practical training in planning such as myself, help you to be a better local official/decision maker?

    Do any of you have experience or have been in this situation?

    What were some tough issues or problems that you faced?

    Thanks in advance

    big_g (formerly known as gjackson)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
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    My Planning Commission's Chairmen has a Masters in Community and regional planning and is not nor has not served in a professional capacity but only as a citizen planner. I think that being open minded and the ability to see things from the community's best intrest is the most important thing. A planning degree does not make you a good planner but gives you the tools to be effective. I can't say that our chair is good because of the degrees i think it has more to do with his mindset. I can say he is more appreciative of the staff and what we do.

    i hope this gives you some insight.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I actually served on my town's historic preservation board and I have a degree in H.P. It was interesting because my career has been as a planner not as a historic preservation person. I think my education helped as did my professional career but being on the other side is completely different. While as staff I could have empathy for a person's plight, as a board member I actually had to make tougher decisions. It actually helped me figure out why some board members make the decisions that they do because no one ever wants to hurt the little guy and the pressure before the bigger guys is unbelieveable. I also felt that it helped me be a better planner because I would do an even more thorough job than I had before because I finally understood what it meant to be on the board's side. My advice is just to understand both sides and read all materials before you get to the meeting so you truly understand the application and the rules behind it in order to make an informed decision. Good luck.

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