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Thread: Guidelines for a new Board/Commission Chair

  1. #1
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Guidelines for a new Board/Commission Chair

    Our ZBA is getting a new chair next month, and she is a relatively new member of the Board (just moved from an alternate to a regular member in December).

    Our Building Division (that staff's the ZBA) has asked me if I know of any good resources for board chairs (guidelines, suggestions on running a good meeting, etc.)

    I'm not having much luck on "the google" and was wondering if any Cyburbians had any ideas or resources they'd consider sharing....

    So, what say you Cyburbia, and thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks in advance!
    "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

  2. #2
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    APA has a book, that I think is called, Planning Commissioner's Handbook. I've never read it so I don't know if it addresses the chair's responsibilities. We give it to all newly appointed commissioners. There's also Robert's Rules of Order if you operate by them.

    I don't envy you having to deal with such an inexperienced chair. I hope it's a short learning curve. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Planning Commissioner's Journal has great resources. I would toss Roberts Rules in favor of a one or two page summary of what we actually deal with.

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    ...[snip].... I would toss Roberts Rules in favor of a one or two page summary of what we actually deal with.
    That's exactly what they've done here. It's called the Chair's Rules. The Chair makes the rules and sometimes it's incredibly frustrating. The attorney and I often interrupt the proceedings in an effort to get the process back on track.

    NHP, I sure hope your new chair has at least attended a couple dozen public hearings to get a feel how the process should operate.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    FWIW, I found a blurb in a publication from the California League of Cities (http://www.cacities.org/index.jsp?zo...iewStory=22028) that was somewhat helpful. Still open to other suggestions....
    "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

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Does you Municipal League offer training?
    Otherwise, see if they are open to in house training
    The training can consist of yourself or the appropriate staff person and I would recomend the city attorney so they understand the legal ramifications of their actions and statements

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