I was recently designated the staff liaison for the HPC after a 5+ year staff absence from participating due to some fighting among personalities over the City's demolition of a structure. There is mistrust and negativity beneath the surface between the HPC and my department as a result of this argument. I'm technically not supposed to devote much time or effort to the HPC beyond token contact; which I interpret as allowing them to fail. On the other hand, the HPC is completely unrealistic and into feeling good about their passion for their "cause" without doing any real work themselves, blaming the City, and refusing to understand that the City's #1 goal isn't to save every structure. I am caught in the middle and fear that staff will once again be pulled from the HPC. There are legitimate concerns on both sides, but neither can see the other's point of view.
I'm looking for your experiences. If you deal with your own HPC, how do you balance their wants with your department's needs when they are in conflict? I'm thinking that completing a Hist Pres Plan might help get everyone on the same page and show how the pieces can fit together. Anyone done that? Are they really useful to you? How much do they cost to hire out?