Advice for Planning Commissioners with Advocacy In Their Blood

You probably didn't end up on your community's planning commission because of your lack of opinions. Now that you are performing this service to the community, how do you balance your past political inclinations and maintain a fair process?

Does the following sound familiar? “Prior to joining the planning commission you were involved in a variety of community issues and worked very comfortably in the political process. You have always drawn on your values and beliefs to take positions that you believe are in the best interest of your community.”

Greg Dale has advice for the many planning commissioners around the country (maybe even some professional planners) who fit that description about how to stay true to their ideals while also performing ethical service for their communities.

Among Dale’s advice: “First of all, it is very difficult for a commissioner to become involved in an issue and try to keep that involvement ‘behind the scenes.’ Invariably that involvement comes out, often in the form of rumors and innuendo. A commissioner’s greatest asset is credibility; once damaged, that credibility may be impossible to restore.”

Full Story: Behind the Scenes Advocacy

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