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Thread: City Planning Mission Statements ARH!

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    los angeles
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    City Planning Mission Statements ARH!

    A lot of city seem to miss the mark when they create some slogan or mission statement which summarizes planning. It's this bureaucratic almost, meme-like dispoistion to put so many ideas into a paragraph that one's eyes glazes over and an overpowering narcolyptic urge curses through you as you read it.

    For example here is what my city says:

    "To provide sound professional Land Use guidance and the highest level of technical service to achieve safe and healthy residential neighborhoods and a secure business climate which fosters sustained economic growth."

    Ugh. if you removed, "land use" and inserted, "taxidermy" or "pest control" or even "tortilla maker" it woudn't make a difference.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Being the "Planning Director" (I use quotes, because it's a one person department), I use the following mission statement, which is heartily endorsed by the Town Commission ...

    To recognize, preserve and enhance the small town charm and 'Olde Florida' character of the community, even in the face of growth.

    Nope, nothing about customer service or economic development there. What am I doing wrong?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    LOL. Well maybe we should come up with some catchy phrases like corporations.

    I have a few from my slush file

    "It takes more than a village with a planner"

    "When you see concrete and ashalt--think of us"

    "Why have indigious flora and fawna when a mini-mall would work?"

    "Tall buildings are phallic symbols!"

    er... back to the drawing board....



  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    We had a couple of informal mottos at my former municipality of employment:

    1. The answer to any planning question: "It depends."

    2. The Planning Department: Where no deed goes unpunished.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    I recall when I first started work at this huge megga city the answer to every question I asked if it was along the lines of... "Why does the City do it this way...."

    answer:

    "Welcome to the City of _________"


    Even now our staff reports have a section with the FEMA flood control rating. Huh? That is for insurance purposes. If the area is in a flood plain, of course, that should be noted. It's our MO to have it in *every* staff report even for something as innocuous as a cellular attenna on a rooftop hidden from view.

    Floodzone? "Yeah, the project in a "C" rating zone>" <rolling eyes>

  6. #6
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
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    Cascadia
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    decommission statements

    We just finished ours and it just seems to reek of nothingness. I think we get so carried away with what we are trying to create that the mission statement becomes a failsafe slogan. Something that we can show the Public, but really doesn't mean a whole heck of alot once all the rules, commissions, councils, public groups get done hack our suggestions.

    I wondered why we even attempted to create one but then remembered that it was a request of the elected officials. Oh, and 'everyone else has one'.......................

  7. #7
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I previously worked for the planning department of a coastal county in central California. Their mission statement was clear and concise......"Your land, our call." 'Nough said??

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    Truth in Advertising

    LOL. Now that's honesty!!

  9. #9

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    The city that I used to work at changed the mission statement every year or so - after many meetings and time wasted doing so. When a new planning director came in (almost every year) he would create a comittee to change the mission statement. The administration viewed this as one of the most important tasks that was accomplished, while it was a joke amongst the planners. The last time that they changed the mission statement, it was printed up on a cards for everybody (several hundred people) and they spelled the work 'sustainable' wrong.

  10. #10
         
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    I think this came off of "Gilbert" or something like that;

    "A mission statement is an untelligable sentence that reveals just how little management knows about what we really do."

    Our planning department rulers put together a planning mission statement (not involving the actual planners you understand) that talked about efficient reports to council/ complete evaluations/time frames. there wasn't a peep about ethics, responosibility to the public, sustainability or achieving goals in terms of land use. Hey! It is their mission statement ... not mine!!!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Here's mine...

    "To say "NO" and negotiate from there..."

    first runner up was "To pester and annoy."

  12. #12
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    If they were required to tell the truth...

    The City of _____ endeavors to never make a courageous decision, to always follow the advice of legal council, especially when it flies in the face of common sense, to support the clique that currently occupies city hall, to keep ineffective employees because the threat of a lawsuit scares us, and to never ever do anything without getting permission from the Chamber of Commerce.

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