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The demise of Planning Commissioner's Journal

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#1
From the LinkedIn site:

It is with deep regret that we have to report that after 20 years in business as an independently owned and operated publication for citizen planners, the Planning Commissioners Journal will be ending publication this Spring. Unfortunately, the long economic recession and the impact it has had on municipalities -- who make up over 90 percent of our subscription base -- has left us in a position where it is simply not economically feasible to continue publication.

Our final issue this Spring will include a special retrospective of the most important topics we’ve reported on over the years. In the coming weeks we will also be sharing information about the availability of our extensive archive of articles (over 450 published since 1991) and our other publications, while alerting you to several exciting special offers. At the end of March, we’ll also be releasing an updated and expanded version of our popular booklet: Welcome to the Commission! A Guide for New Members. Special pre-order discount pricing on the updated edition of this publication is now available. Information is available on our web site:
http://pcj.typepad.com

Make sure you’re on our email list, as future announcements will primarily be by email. If you’re currently a Planning Commissioners Journal subscriber, you’ll find a letter enclosed with the Winter issue (now being mailed out) asking you to verify your current email address. If you’re not a subscriber, you can easily sign up for our email update list.

We will -- at least for the next several months -- be maintaining our Linkedin group page, and continue to post announcements.

We appreciate the support we've received from our friends and subscribers over the years. Thank you!

Wayne Senville, Publisher & Editor
Betsey Krumholz, General Manager

p.s., if you have any questions, don't hesitate to either email us at: pcjoffice@gmail.com or phone us at: 802-864-9083.


PCJ has long been the best source for meaningful planning topics. It will be sorely missed.
 

Suburb Repairman

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#2
That's a real shame to lose this publication. I always felt it had good content, and my Commissioners certainly appreciated the articles.
 
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#3
sad, sad, sad. After the Greensburg devestation and with a grant from our Kansas chapter, the commissioners got a two year subscription. We just couldn't keep it up. Thank you Wayne and Betsey for helping us. I wish we could have done more.
 

ColoGI

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#4
If you want to kill something, take its funding away. Surely a billionaire soaking his cigar in tax cuts can pony up a pittance to keep citizens informed, right? Right?

Hello?

Anyone?


























Hello?
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
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#5
This is too bad. I always felt good about renewing our subscription; it had real value.
 

ColoGI

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#8
Seriously, is this type of trolling proper for the forum? Move it to FAC...
No one can find a rich guy to fund the Journal to bridge the gap until cities get back on track? Surely my phrasing was cynically tied to the news of the day, but come now you can't see the message?
 

Dan

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#10
If a small planning department could have just one periodical, PCJ would probably be it. It's articles were clear and concise, yet complete and informative. The writing was stellar. The cover art (which can be purchased at http://www.cafepress.com/pcjournal) was iconic much in the same way of Byte magazine in the 1970s. PCJ was useful not just for planning commissioners, but also for planners who needed a convenient and persuasive reference.

I really hope Wayne finds a way to compile the content of previous PCJs into some kind of "best of" book; it could serve as the equivalent of the Green Book for planning commissioners, and be a great additon to any planner's bookshelf.

Wayne suppoted Cyburbia through the years, and I'm really grateful for that. I had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and he's a good guy. PCJ will be missed.

No one can find a rich guy to fund the Journal to bridge the gap until cities get back on track? Surely my phrasing was cynically tied to the news of the day, but come now you can't see the message?
We never found a rich benefactor for Cyburbia.

Maybe some foundation can help PCJ, but it's a for-profit business.
 
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#11
This is a shame. PCJ provided a real practical and balanced perspective on planning issues, rarely pushing an agenda beyond helping citizen planners carry out their responsibilities to their communities.
 

Suburb Repairman

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#12
If a small planning department could have just one periodical, PCJ would probably be it. It's articles were clear and concise, yet complete and informative. The writing was stellar. The cover art (which can be purchased at http://www.cafepress.com/pcjournal) was iconic much in the same way of Byte magazine in the 1970s. PCJ was useful not just for planning commissioners, but also for planners who needed a convenient and persuasive reference.

I really hope Wayne finds a way to compile the content of previous PCJs into some kind of "best of" book; it could serve as the equivalent of the Green Book for planning commissioners, and be a great additon to any planner's bookshelf.

Wayne suppoted Cyburbia through the years, and I'm really grateful for that. I had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and he's a good guy. PCJ will be missed.



We never found a rich benefactor for Cyburbia.

Maybe some foundation can help PCJ, but it's a for-profit business.
Dan is preaching truth. I read the PCJ cover-to-cover far more often than Planning Magazine.
 
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#13
No one can find a rich guy to fund the Journal to bridge the gap until cities get back on track? Surely my phrasing was cynically tied to the news of the day, but come now you can't see the message?
Alright, sounded to me like you were linking the rich guy to the journal's market troubles.

It's hard to make a pitch to rich guys when the actual users aren't putting up enough to keep it going. Charity is not sustainable if it doesn't lead to a structural change to remove the need for charity. If they were subsidized and offered the Journal for free/cheap, going back to current rates and really the higher rates they need to thrive is difficult at best, even if their customers again have the surplus that allowed the non-essential purchase.

I did find the Journal interesting, an old coworker got one for being on the plan commission of their town. But I think I get more from reading blogs with the same time I'd use to pay for the magazine. Media markets are a bear these days.
 

ColoGI

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#14
If a small planning department could have just one periodical, PCJ would probably be it. It's articles were clear and concise, yet complete and informative. The writing was stellar. ...

We never found a rich benefactor for Cyburbia. ..Maybe some foundation can help PCJ, but it's a for-profit business.
...

It's hard to make a pitch to rich guys when the actual users aren't putting up enough to keep it going. Charity is not sustainable if it doesn't lead to a structural change to remove the need for charity. If they were subsidized and offered the Journal for free/cheap, going back to current rates and really the higher rates they need to thrive is difficult at best, even if their customers again have the surplus that allowed the non-essential purchase.

I did find the Journal interesting, an old coworker got one for being on the plan commission of their town. But I think I get more from reading blogs with the same time I'd use to pay for the magazine. Media markets are a bear these days.
The managing partner found I was too obtuse above. Apologies. The larger issue is that this is an important resource for the planning process (and a compendium of good information for non-young PCs who don't read blogs and the interwebs. That is: this is a perfect spot for, say, the APA to jump in and facilitate connections for a bridge until things pick up in a few years and subs can keep the lights on again...APA, ASLA, I don't care who but this is a perfect opportunity. Why is the planning community accepting this loss, esp for rural areas?
 

Dan

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#15
That is: this is a perfect spot for, say, the APA to jump in and facilitate connections for a bridge until things pick up in a few years and subs can keep the lights on again...APA, ASLA, I don't care who but this is a perfect opportunity.
The APA has The Commissioner, which is distributed free to planning commissioners and elected officials who are APA members. The Commissioner was started not too long ago, IIRC, and I wouldn't doubt it hurt PCJ, especially considering that many communities pay for APA membership for their PCs.
 

ColoGI

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#16
The APA has The Commissioner, which is distributed free to planning commissioners and elected officials who are APA members. The Commissioner was started not too long ago, IIRC, and I wouldn't doubt it hurt PCJ, especially considering that many communities pay for APA membership for their PCs.
Right. Maybe the fatalist planner is too idealistic here on this topic, but I wasn't aware good planning was built on a competitive model. I thought we wanted as much sharing and knowledge out there as possible to ensure good places got built.
 
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#18
I'm very sad to hear about this. PCJ published a sidebar article that I wrote a few years ago. Our Commissioners loved PCJ; unfortunately, the city stopped our subscription due to budgetary concerns.
 
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