From the President

Welcome to Great Falls. Candi Millar, AICP, gives the welcome at the 2016 WP/MAP conference. Photo by Rachel Girt.

Welcome to Great Falls. Candi Millar, AICP, gives the welcome at the 2016 WP/MAP conference. Photo by Rachel Girt.

Candi Millar, AICP, gives an update as the board president of Western Planning Resources, Inc. (WPR), which publishes The Western Planner.

My first residence in Montana, over 40 years ago, was in Great Falls. It was fitting then that my last professional act in Montana was to attend the Montana Association of Planners (MAP) and Western Planner (WP) Conference in Great Falls. Oddly enough, both times were associated with torrential thunderstorms and flooded streets. During the conference, though, the sun came out, temperatures were mild, and the proceedings were excellent! MAP has a great reputation for hosting superb conferences, and this was one of the best. Galen Steffens, Planner III for the City of Great Falls, cannot be complimented enough for her extraordinary preparation and execution of the flawless event. She was ably assisted by Amber Vogt, WPR Board Director, and Andrew Hagemeier, MAP President, along with the Great Falls Planning Department staff. In addition to the hands-on efforts of Galen and crew, the financial support from numerous sponsors is greatly appreciated!

The WPR Board of Directors met during the conference and began putting the final touches on the new website and organizational structure. As I have mentioned in this space before, the WP Journal will be going totally digital in January 2017. The Journal will no longer be printed or electronically published as a periodical. Instead, articles will be accessible to anyone online. New articles will be uploaded each month. The articles will continue to be peer-reviewed and authors can receive AICP credits for publication. Other changes to the website will make researching past articles quick and easy, and will provide the same current services such as job announcements and state news.

There will also be some significant organizational changes that are currently being finalized. Because of the extent of these changes, details are still being worked out and I am not at liberty to divulge the concept yet. Suffice it to say that WPR will emerge stronger and more resilient. The Western Planner will continue to offer news and articles relevant to Western planners and provide networking opportunities through jointly-hosted annual conferences. The new organizational framework will be announced before the end of the year.

And speaking of annual conferences, the 2017 conference will be held in Spearfish, South Dakota, September 12 – 15. The conference is hosted by the South Dakota Planners Association.

On a personal note, I have retired from the City of Billings and am now living in Olympia, Washington with my husband, Roger and black lab, Ouzel. I can be reached by email at candis.b@hotmail.com if you have any questions about The Western Planner. I have great plans for my retirement, although none of them involve working as a planner. Now I get to indulge in planning as a “concerned citizen.”

Keep up the good work! Candi Millar, retired and living the dream!!!



Candi Millar, AICP, recently retired as the Director of the Planning and Community Services Department for the City of Billings, Montana. She is the president of Western Planning Resources, Inc. Please email her at candis.b@hotmail.com.