I work as a planner in a different county than my county of residence. The county that I live in is fairly rural in character. The interstate runs across the southern portion and some outlet malls and fast food have popped up in that area. Otherwise, it is mostly occupied by large lot single family residential and heavy agriculture in the form of chicken houses or largish cattle operations. Recently, the area has begun to feel the squeeze of our lovely Capitol City stretching it's suburbs into the area. Developers have loved the neighboring counties to death and are ready to move into this one. We are ripe for the picking. A loophole filled PUD ordinance was recently put through and we are totally exposed to bad development. Unfortunately, the powers that be seem enchanted by the siren's call of developer's promises of increased tax base and "high quality" projects.
There is definately a good ole' boy system in place. Recently there was an opening on the planning commission. A current member was reappointed. Another slot will come open some time this year. I have submitted a letter of interest and hope to become a member. The current planning commission is pathetic. If a project is remotely controversial, they refuse to make any sort of recommendation to the county commissioners. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a planning commission, huh?
With all of that being said, I was wondering if any of you have ever served in a similar capacity? I realize that I will have many obstacles to overcome if I make it. I am female, under 30 and college educated. That can be a threat to a lot of people around here. Sometimes it can be disheartening to live in the rural south. Time to be a southern belle and charm my way in.