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Thread: Planning Commission Burnout

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Barrow, Alaska
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    190

    Planning Commission Burnout

    Hi everyone. We are still in a deep freeze in Arctic Alaska, but spring is coming.
    I am giving a talk at our Alaska APA chapter meeting in Anchorage on March 1 to various Planning Commissioners about burnout. I've written and researched on Planner Burnout, but could use more insights/experiences on Planning Commissioner burnout. Any ideas or experiences would be very helpful. Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Perry Norton's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    89
    Earl, would you give any credence to the idea that planning is far out of date that it is a non-player? Planners don't write for the Planning magazine anymore. Check out the writers in the February issue.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    Planning Commission Burnout

    Perry, you have a good point about the relevance of planning and how planners often avoid getting out in front.
    Maybe it is because some of them ---planners and planning commissioners---are burned out from so many defeats, or the perspective that they have nothing to offer.
    Nice to hear from you and let's keep trying!!!
    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Perry Norton's avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    I'm not quite sure what is wrong. I think that planners and commissioners alike have pretty much given up on the idea of the plan for a whole city and instead concentrate on some part of the whole. They've given up on the dream.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    The Dream is Alive in Alaska

    Hi Perry and All Planners
    I had a great time speaking to some 80 Planning Commissioners from all around Alaska last Friday in Anchorage.
    We talked about burnout and overcoming it. And I sincerely believe that the dream of vibrant, dynamic and well-planned communities is alive in Alaska.
    The commissioners were very responsive and had some great questions and comments and recommendations.
    One concern is how to get people out of their homes, away from computer screens and televisions for meetings on planning and the future of the community.
    This was a special concern in some of the outlying towns around Anchorage. People get tired out from the long commutes and don't have the energy to participate.
    One person suggested more on-line voting and participation that way.
    I think we need a panel on this topic sometime in the future.
    There are so many takes on the topic of burnout and productive use of our time. Also how to blend family and our career, and how to keep healthy, physically and mentally.
    I advised the planning commissioners to really work on teamwork to help defeat burnout, but NOT to use the Chicago Cubs as a model of teamwork.
    Hey Hey
    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Emeritus Perry Norton's avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    89

    The Dream is Alive?

    I guess I would question whether the dream is still alive. How much time do the Commissioners spend talking about the whole city of Barrow? Not the whole city in terms of transportation, or housing, but the whole city as a place to live?
    I don't mean "the newsprint concept" which the Commissioners might, with the Public, engage in from time to time. I mean full time study.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Earl Finkler's avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    Barrow, Alaska
    Posts
    190

    City as a Whole

    Boy, you always ask the Hard Questions Perry.
    The Planning Commissioners I spoke to were from communities across Alaska. And I'm not sure how wide a view they take in their meetings and deliberations, but I think the interest is there -----the caring for their town or village is there.

    But for one thing, when I go to meetings related to growth and development, it often seems like attorneys dominate the discussion. Nothing against attorneys, but they are not planners. However, well-meaning leaders and commissioners always seem to defer to the attorneys and their statements.
    Nothing like "Well that innovative planning approach may not be legal" to put cold water on such proposals.

    I'll keep listening for the commissioners with a truly wide view of their communities ---looking at the whole.
    Earl
    Earl the Farthest North Cub Fan

  8. #8
          Downtown's avatar
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    Oct 2000
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    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
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    3,174

    Attorneys as planners

    Just wanted to drop in a note about attorneys as planners. Our town attorney can't understand why we need a comp plan. "We've got a zoning map, for christ's sake!"

    As for Planning Commission burn out - we haven't really had experience with that here - in fact many of our board members have expressed the sentiment that they'll be done with the Board when they're forcibly kicked off or die. Whichever comes first. I'd say the latter is more likely, since most of them have been on the board for at least 20 years, with a couple logging 30+.

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