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Working Packet day or meeting day - which is worse?

which is more stressful

  • packet day

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • meeting day

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • actually, deadline to file day is the most stressful

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • actually, damage control the day after a meeting is the worst

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • actually, it's all pretty bad

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • cry me a river, I'm in the private sector, and your deadlines suck

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • I don't know what any of this means

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • is your packet done, LP?

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • you commie, pinko, socialist! You deserve everything horrible!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I think every day is wonderful and you shouldn't be so negative

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • I have something even more difficult to share below

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,314
Points
52
so packet day/week is when you are preparing packets and memos and reviews for the regulatory agency of your choice or committee

meeting day is the meeting itself, day of included

which is worse?

When I plan vacation weeks, I always think is it better to miss the packet or miss the meeting?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dan

gtpeach

Cyburbian
Messages
2,082
Points
21
When I plan vacation weeks, I always think is it better to miss the packet or miss the meeting?
Why not both?

Also, I hate packet compiling. I don't mind meetings. Even if they're terrible and I get yelled at and ridiculed the whole time, I don't mind them. But inevitably when putting together packets, you realize there's some question that hasn't been answered yet, or some map didn't print correctly, and it just ends up being really tedious.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,792
Points
51
I don't do either of these things at my current job. It's so refreshing. The worst I have to do is review a plan and sit in a 1 hour meeting with the developer to explain how he's wrong.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,436
Points
39
Meetings, for sure. I just did a quick back-of-envelope calculation and I'm over 2,000 in my career. Every single one of them now feels like sitting on a bed of pins and needles.

It used to be packet day until we finally convinced my first director we needed to get serious about change (he used to hand out the packets at the meeting!) and make it fair for the members to actually have some time with supporting materials. The current way is much better, IMO.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,085
Points
16
I don't usually believe meeting day is worse. But when it is worse, it is WAY worse...
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,604
Points
69
Since I do mostly comprehensive planning, I voted for meeting day. Especially now, with Zoom meetings, and having to give presentations. It's the juggling between full screen Powerpoint, Preview (for pulling up photos of examples), Word (for whatever document I'm working on) and Zoom gallery view.
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,456
Points
29
Since I do mostly comprehensive planning, I voted for meeting day. Especially now, with Zoom meetings, and having to give presentations. It's the juggling between full screen Powerpoint, Preview (for pulling up photos of examples), Word (for whatever document I'm working on) and Zoom gallery view.
I find dumping everything into one .pdf easier to navigate.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,438
Points
18
On packet day, you're stuck until the report is approved for printing. Even if you turn things in early, on that day you are on standby until the late afternoon when the CM gives their approval for the reports.

Now that I've become in charge of the Planning Department, I noticed that the staff reports from my staff for Planning Commission are coming in later than I would like, and have been trying to make sure my staff is meeting their deadlines.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
969
Points
21
Packets. Meetings are "go" time, and if your ducks are in a row, the heavy lifting has already been done. Meetings also involve a different side of the brain and give the chance for staff who are naturally good presenters to shine. It's a rare planner who is a report-writing pro while also a slick, charismatic presenter - most lean one way or the other. The planners who can do both well are stars.

Neither are easy. Current planning is a tough grind.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
969
Points
21
Now that I've become in charge of the Planning Department, I noticed that the staff reports from my staff for Planning Commission are coming in later than I would like, and have been trying to make sure my staff is meeting their deadlines.
Dealing with this exact issue. I set a deadline of one week out to get me the shell of a staff report (i.e. a draft, minus the sections that address compliance with zoning and site plan standards). That lasted for a few meeting cycles, and now I'm seeing them come in the day before the packet deadline, or, in some excruciating cases, on packet day itself, resulting into an insane flurry of editing all day long. Not sustainable, but I hate to bring the hammer down on folks during Covid Times as I know everyone is doing the best they can.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,723
Points
25
...It used to be packet day until we finally convinced my first director we needed to get serious about change (he used to hand out the packets at the meeting!) and make it fair for the members to actually have some time with supporting materials. The current way is much better, IMO.
Are you telling us that your Board actually READS the packets in advance?? That is amazing.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,314
Points
52
Are you telling us that your Board actually READS the packets in advance?? That is amazing.
I worked in an unnamed community where everyone commuted from the city out to this suburban location, literally got off the train, walked up to town hall to the meeting and opened their packet at the meeting - but, in their defense, they heavily relied on staff which was pretty awesome - they were all hyper employed and hyper educated so they understood the role of professional staff

so sometimes it's not a bad thing if they are skimming through things at the meeting
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,723
Points
25
I worked in an unnamed community where everyone commuted from the city out to this suburban location, literally got off the train, walked up to town hall to the meeting and opened their packet at the meeting - but, in their defense, they heavily relied on staff which was pretty awesome - they were all hyper employed and hyper educated so they understood the role of professional staff

so sometimes it's not a bad thing if they are skimming through things at the meeting
I love the idea that they understood the role of professional staff. I'm so used to answering dozens of questions by saying "yes, that's addressed in your packet on page XX".
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
25
Dealing with this exact issue. I set a deadline of one week out to get me the shell of a staff report (i.e. a draft, minus the sections that address compliance with zoning and site plan standards). That lasted for a few meeting cycles, and now I'm seeing them come in the day before the packet deadline, or, in some excruciating cases, on packet day itself, resulting into an insane flurry of editing all day long. Not sustainable, but I hate to bring the hammer down on folks during Covid Times as I know everyone is doing the best they can.
When I became "in charge," I established a deadline and a consistent system of Director and peer review. Nobody really likes packet day anyway, so having a sub-deadline for peer review a day or two ahead of "go time" has helped. I used to work in a place where the staff lead would perpetually be behind on their piece of the packet, leading to having to drive paper packets to board members houses after hours because the deadline to get things in the mail was missed. :cursing:
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
25
So, in answer to the question, meeting day is worse for me. But mostly the apprehension. I dread the conflict and citizen angst that comes with public meetings, but i handle it just fine in the moment and always feel better about it at the end of the meeting. But that dread...
 
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