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Thread: I have 30 minutes to orient my new Board members

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Mar 2013
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    Central Virginia
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    I have 30 minutes to orient my new Board members

    We have two new members that will begin their terms in January. They are scheduled for an orientation session with each of the department heads this week. I have 30 minutes (I'm the last of the day, so I could go long, I guess) to hit the highlights of what my department does.

    So far, I'm planning to discuss:
    -State laws I have to follow
    -How to apply the zoning ordinance
    -How proffers and conditions on special use permits differ (and how they can legally be applied)
    -The purpose of the Planning Commission
    -The importance of long-range planning
    -My approach to development/application approvals
    -Why I think we really, really, really need to make a huge effort to revise and update our zoning ordinance (maybe. not sure about this one.)

    They're going to be overwhelmed, so I'm hoping to put together a cheat sheet/resource guide with information they can refer back to. I probably should've started before today.

    Am I missing anything important?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
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    Ethical behavior, open meetings law, different hearing types (legislative vs. quasi judicial),

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Ethical behavior, open meetings law, different hearing types (legislative vs. quasi judicial),
    I REALLY hope the attorney covers ethics with them. But I should probably cover ethics as it applies to my position at least.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Decision making is big for mine. I present them with a list of approval requirements. Usually comes from code. Things like thou shalt say that this subdivision is okay because XYZ. If nothing else, I tell them to pay attention to that when I bring up the case.

    Now might be a good time to get them on code updates. Strike while you're the new person and they like you. At the same time, if they aren't the most zoning savvy group just do a section at a time.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think a take-a-way outline is a great idea because that is a lot of information - good luck and tell us how it went!
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Ethics and open meetings for sure. I tell them on the job training is expected. If my reports don't make things clear, then I'm not doing my job.

    Oh and the Riggins Rules http://plannersweb.com/wp-content/up...994/01/513.pdf

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2015
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    So Cal
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    Let them know what their purview is. If they are complaining about the design, but that's not applicable to the approval process then they shouldn't waste time on it. Though maybe that's more of a project by project discussion.

    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    Those rules are amazing, and would make my life so much easier if my board followed through with them. I oversee an advisory board who has no judicial power, the only power they have is wasting peoples' and souring people on this bureaucratic process.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    It went pretty well. They were already at least somewhat familiar with my primary functions, so I spent more time talking about their responsibilities as Board members as it relates to my duties and going through some of the legal things they need to keep in mind when making decisions related to planning/zoning. They'd been in orientation all day up to that point, so I'm glad I kept it pretty informal. Mostly, I just wanted to hit a few basic highlights, and then open up the door for them to utilize me as a resource as they had questions in the future. Thirty minutes went by REALLY fast.

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