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Thread: Asking for the removal of a Steering Committee member

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Asking for the removal of a Steering Committee member

    We received a grant for a land-use study for a specified district in our City. We've been working with the State on the grant and have put together a Steering Committee comprised of local business owners, interested parties, residents etc. One of the Steering Committee members lives in the district, owns a business in the district and is also a Planning Commission member.

    This morning I arrived at work to a hostile e-mail from said Member as to why this study is a complete waste of time and money and nothing is ever going to come of it anyway.

    Now the Chairmain of the Steering Committee is asking for the SC/PC member's resignation from the Steering Committee.

    Any advice on how to handle the situation?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Stay out of it. The committee will work through it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Stay out of it. The committee will work through it.

    good. fine with me!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Is the Steering Committee Chair a plan commissioner? Council member? Someone else? Was this e-mail addressed specifically to you, a group of people, or possibly BCC'd? Is the outraged committee member expecting you to intervene, or is this e-mail just a rant?

    I would be very careful how you approach this situation. If this is just a rant addressed to a group of people, then yes, I would just ignore it. It's not your problem. However, you also mentioned that this committee member is also a plan commissioner. If he/she e-mailed you expecting you to resolve this problem, then walking away from the situation may damage your working relationship with the plan commissioner, and possibly the plan commission itself.

    I am assuming the committee member is upset because the community has to provide matching funds to receive state assistance for the land use plan. I might point out the long-term benefits of the land use plan. Can you provide some more information on your community, including its financial strength? Thanks-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    As the Steering Committee Turns

    This is a matching grant and all of the City's match will be through in-kind services - mostly my time. The grant is a part of a state program with multiple phases. In order to access larger amounts of $$ the City has to go through the phases in a pre-defined order.

    The Chair of the Steering Committee is also the Chair of our Community Development Advisory Commission (make recommendations on the CDBG funding and Consolidated Plan etc.).

    The rogue Steering Committee member is a member of the Planning Commission.

    The Rogue Steering Committee member e-mailed me through a Project Managment program that copies all people on the project. The Chair of the SC responded to me regarding the Rogue's statements and in that called for the Rogue's resignation. The Rogue then responded to the Chair again saying it is a waste of time.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Lay low...

  7. #7
    I agree with Mommy Salami: Low, low, low.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Oh, good god. I got a headache just reading that. I swear every municipality contains the same two dozen people, all of whom wear multiple hats and have inflated egos. I, too would lay low in this case.

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    The Rogue Steering Committee member e-mailed me through a Project Managment program that copies all people on the project. The Chair of the SC responded to me regarding the Rogue's statements and in that called for the Rogue's resignation. The Rogue then responded to the Chair again saying it is a waste of time.
    That is all I needed to know. Stay out of this as best you can. This is not your problem.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    sorry dandy

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I agree with Mommy Salami: Low, low, low.
    Off-topic:
    My kids and I play this name song game and I'm Mommy Salami, Mommy tsunami, Momma Bologna, Mommy tatami, etc. etc.


    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    Oh, good god. I got a headache just reading that. I swear every municipality contains the same two dozen people, all of whom wear multiple hats and have inflated egos. .
    Off-topic:
    what's that phrase when you spit out your coffee laughing reading a post - this wins for today


    but really, laying low means not getting involved - no offering of opinions or perspectives - the decision rests with others - if given the opportunity, you can make a minor effort (one conversation) on why the study will be useful and/or why the study was sought (the genesis file as I call it - why are we here kind of thing) - that's non committal and is just repeating what was likely in the grant application

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    but really, laying low means not getting involved - no offering of opinions or perspectives - the decision rests with others - if given the opportunity, you can make a minor effort (one conversation) on why the study will be useful and/or why the study was sought (the genesis file as I call it - why are we here kind of thing) - that's non committal and is just repeating what was likely in the grant application
    that's my plan. i'll let them duke it out.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post

    Any advice on how to handle the situation?
    Maybe you should assess why the steering committee member feels the way they do about the land use plan being a waste of time. If one of my Planning Commissioners was saying that publicly, I would be concerned. Is this person generally negative toward all planning efforts, or is it just this project? Maybe he/she feels that regardless of what the plan says, the Planning Commission and City Council will ignore it.
    ...my lifestyle determines my death style!
    - Metallica

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    This morning I arrived at work to a hostile e-mail from said Member as to why this study is a complete waste of time and money and nothing is ever going to come of it anyway.
    Well, at the risk of seeming negative, is it a waste of time and money? You can tell us...

    Not all planning efforts are worth the effort.

    (ducks as he prepares for fellow planners to call him a turncoat...)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Well, at the risk of seeming negative, is it a waste of time and money? You can tell us...

    Not all planning efforts are worth the effort.

    (ducks as he prepares for fellow planners to call him a turncoat...)
    I don't believe it is. Our Comp Plan was written 6 years ago, and while I'm fighting for an update there is nothing scheduled at the moment. Our Comp Plan is adequate at best. So any chance to update a portion of it is worth it.

    While there might be some signs of planning fatigue throughout the whole City, I belive projects identified through this process will have a better chance of being implemented. This opportunity includes a 3 phase process that ultimately benefits property owners (funding assistance for Brownfields, tax credits) and the City (additional funding for implementation of the plan).
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Not all planning efforts are worth the effort.
    You may be right. There certainly have been times in my career when I would have agreed wholeheartedly. At times, the planning profession (especially local-government planning) seems like a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    However, time is teaching me a different perspective. I think President Eisenhower said it best when he said, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."

    A given plan may not be that useful. It could just sit on the shelf and never be referred to again. But the process of writing that plan can be invaluable, especially if it is broadly inclusive.

    You see, the planning process gets people to take time out of their normal routine to think about their community, to interact with their peers (maybe even segments of the population they don't normally come into contact with), to try out new concepts, to share ideas with city staff, the public and maybe even outside experts, etc. Besides a document (the one that may or may not be useful) this process also increases the level of "institutional knowledge" of the participants. Now you have people who have a better understanding of where they live. The plan may never come anywhere near implementation, but somewhere, someday, at least one of the participants in the planning process is going to make a decision that affects the community in some way and that decision will be better for their involvement.

    Do this often enough -- inclusively enough -- and you still end up improving your community even if the nominal result is a shelf-full of neglected paper.

    -- aporitic

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    I don't believe it is. Our Comp Plan was written 6 years ago, and while I'm fighting for an update there is nothing scheduled at the moment. Our Comp Plan is adequate at best. So any chance to update a portion of it is worth it.
    As a consultant, i cringe at this statement. Comp plans are to be modified here and there, but for a major update after just 6 years kinda boggles my mind or maybe it is just me.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    As a consultant, i cringe at this statement. Comp plans are to be modified here and there, but for a major update after just 6 years kinda boggles my mind or maybe it is just me.
    Normally I agree but it depends on the town - if a review of permits shows that the growth area as designated isn't growing and areas noted needing protection are the areas seeing the growth, then an update at least is worthy

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    As a consultant, i cringe at this statement. Comp plans are to be modified here and there, but for a major update after just 6 years kinda boggles my mind or maybe it is just me.
    Perhaps you would've done a better job than the consultants we had. Plus there has been a major shift towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly community. Our current plan doesn't touch on that at all. So it would be nice to have a guiding document that at least mentions it. I don't think a major overhaul is necessary but some update would be nice.

    who knows, maybe this whole thing and the entire planning process is a waste here since the municipality doesn't seem to concern themselves with what the plan says or worry about implementing it. really, the only thing we've been half-way decent about implementing is the River Trail and that is mostly because of state grant awards.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Perhaps you would've done a better job than the consultants we had. Plus there has been a major shift towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly community. Our current plan doesn't touch on that at all. So it would be nice to have a guiding document that at least mentions it. I don't think a major overhaul is necessary but some update would be nice.

    who knows, maybe this whole thing and the entire planning process is a waste here since the municipality doesn't seem to concern themselves with what the plan says or worry about implementing it. really, the only thing we've been half-way decent about implementing is the River Trail and that is mostly because of state grant awards.
    I know the whole sustainability push has definitely come into play, however, we have been putting these into comp plans for about 6-10 years and maybe its because i live in wacky California. NHPlanner does have a point, it does depend on the town. Glad you defined it as an update, however truly implementing sustainability, eco-friendly principles, policies, can't just be sprinkled in as an appendix, or additional policies, but rather needs an overhaul starting with the land use plan and going from there and needs to be interwoven throughout the document as the first step. Than let's talk zoning after that to truly implement a sustainable plan because god knows you can preach density in a comp plan for more compact development, but than you turn around and in your zoning ordinance allows for 4 units to the acre and you call this medium density? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it (and i deal with this all the time). This to me sounds like the comp plan just needs to be ditched and re-booted again. It takes political will to implement documents, not just staff (and you know this already).

    As for your situation at hand, just sit back and watch the fireworks flow, hell, go buy yourself a 2gb SD card for your phone and record the thing, because i am sure there will be some moments of UIC during this meeting.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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