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Thread: Becoming a planning commissioner - as an actual planner

  1. #1
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Becoming a planning commissioner - as an actual planner

    Well, I got my utility bill from the town (which is of 3500 people) in whcih I live. There was an additional flyer stating that there is an opening on the small Planning Commission and that interested parties shall submit a letter of interest by Feb. 22.

    Now, in case you don't know (as I hardly post outside of the FAC) I work as a planner in a town of 72,000 about 20 miles away, and I have been interested in the growing town I live in for quite sometime, and frankly, I am not happy with some of the things that are happening, but I also see that since we are new to the growth game in this part of Colorado, that there is an opportunity for some good things to occur.

    Anyways, I am interested in the position and I have been wondering. How many PC's actually have planners on them? What would one include in a letter of interest?
    Last edited by zman; 02 Feb 2006 at 12:02 PM.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Our planning commission has a planner on it, so do several others in the area. I don't really see any sort of problems with it. is it any different than having a developer on the commission? The commission should be made up of a diverse group.

    In your letter of interest, include your education and professional background and why you want to be on the commission.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Done All the Time

    Lots of Planning Boards have planners on them- its a good synergy. I think its an asset as long at the Planning Board doesn't already have 2-3 planners on it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There were two planners on the plan commission in the town in which I lived up to a month ago. One resigned over a position the board of trustees took on a planning matter - dumb, really, since there was little else they could legally do. I resigned last month when I moved.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Thanks for the help, Folks. I think it is a small curmudgeon board, and I think it'll be fun too. I'd kind of like to be on the other side of things, and I think that being a planning commissioner would help me as a planner and vice versa.

    So, we'll try it, see how it goes (of course I have to get accepted first)
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Zman, you should do it if you have the time. We have planners on our planning board here and the planners in my dept find it very helpful because they understand things better.

    While it's not a planning board, I just joined my city's bike/ped committee to work on those issues. I though it would be good to be involved with local planning issues, volunteer and network with other planners, similar types. There are 12 members on this committee. I think 5 of us are planners.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist
    Zman, you should do it if you have the time.
    I live in a small town, so the meetings are the last Wednesday of every month. Seems workable with my schedule.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I live in a small town, so the meetings are the last Wednesday of every month. Seems workable with my schedule.
    Do they go out for beer and pizza afterwards?
    Seriously, our PC would benifit greatly from having a planner on board.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    I'm a planner and I am on the City's Parks and Recreation Advisory board. I think my background has been helpful not only from a personal standpoint but all for others on the board.

    My boss is a planner (go figure) and he sits on the ZBA.

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I've got a planner on my Commission and it has totally changed the discussions (in a good way).

    I'd say go for it; it's kinda rare to see someone your age on one of these Commissions, and I think it can provide a different perspective. Besides, it gives you a chance to see the other side of the coin.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Just be careful. If you're the one well-versed in the field, you'll be the one always elected to chair the meeting in absence of the Chairman.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  12. #12
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    go for it. I want to do the same, if I can just get my butt in gear and contact the necessary person.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  13. #13
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Didn't do the planning board thing, but was on the zoning board in my hometown for 3 years.....until the meetings started conflicting with the ones I get paid to be at.

    Great experience, and was surreal to be on the other side of the table. Was also on the short end of a lot of 4-1 votes.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  14. #14
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    when i lived ina different town than i worked for there was no way i could have had time to be on another committee - i was already out a few nights a week and i'd be in divorce court if i had added another

    but also, i lived in the abutting town and there was a rivalry between the 2 towns so i thought it might be a conflict to sit on the board

    what i did used to do was be a "back door" advisor when asked by either the planner or the town manager - for example, i was on the search committee when they needed a planner, but more often they would have me read reports or tell me a situation and i would give them my impressions off line - i had alot of influence over what was going on, lent expertise for free so was giving to my town, but didn't have the hassle of being in the public realm -

  15. #15
    Cyburbian big_g's avatar
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    I was on my city's planning board in the last place I lived a year ago. It was a small city of about 10k people. I enjoyed being on the board, but I resigned after a year because of family and life events. I just didn't have the time or energy to put into it as I had hoped I would.

    Now that things are beginning to settle down in my new town I might looking into volunteering for another board. Probably not a planning or zoning board though. For right now I think I'll go for something like parks & rec, agricultural preservation or something like that. I'm still too new and inexperienced in my new town to deal with the local politics that come with planning/zoning here. For right now I want to find something nice and cushy with little political and financial high stakes that meets like every other month or so.

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