April/May 2016: From the President

Angela Parker, AICP, CFM, reports on upcoming changes to the Journal, website and membership structure. She is the Vice President of Western Planning Resources, Inc. (WPR), which publishes The Western Planner, and is temporarily filling in for WPR President Candi Millar for this issue.

Full conversion to digital in 2017

The WPR Board held their annual Winter meeting in February in Denver, Colorado. We had some big decisions to make, one of them being the future of our publication. In order to provide the best possible service to our subscribers, we will be going completely digital beginning in January 2017. We are reviewing methods to best do this.

Need input from our readers

We would love to have input from our readers on what else they would like to see from the Journal! We also encourage you to contact your WPR Board representative if you have something you would like included in the Journal or monthly e-newsletter, such as news from your planning association or upcoming events. Contact information can be found on our website at www.westernplanner.org.

Overhaul of the website

Another change coming in the near future is an overhaul of our website. As a part of that, we are in the process of creating a searchable index of all past issues of Western Planner, which all members will be able to access on the website. As many of us have noticed, we are facing some of the same issues our predecessors faced in the past. As I indexed articles from 1996, I was intrigued by one titled, “Finding Your Way to Conclusions,” by Scott D. McGregor and Ben T. Orsbon, AICP (WP, December 1996). The article was part of a series written when the Nolan and Dolan decisions were fresh in everyone’s minds; it explains the importance of the reasoning behind findings and conclusions and why they are necessary to support a decision. This article is only an example of what the index contains and shows that we can find information in the past that is still relevant today.

Revamp of membership structure

The main focus of the Board this year is to revamp our membership structure. We are taking a hard look at what has worked in the past and what we feel will work in the future. The annual conference is still a huge part of what we want to offer our members, and will remain largely the same. We are still working out details of what our structure will look like, but our mission hasn’t changed—to provide a network that is devoted to tackling the issues faced by planners in the West. We ask that you continue to support our efforts and get involved by providing articles and attending the conference.

Save the date for the 2016 conference

Speaking of the conference, this year it will be held in partnership with the Montana Association of Planners in Great Falls, Montana August 10-12. It is already shaping up to be another great event, and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

Angela Parker, AICP, CFM, is the Vice President of Western Planning Resources, Inc. She has been involved in planning for about ten years and has been reading the Journal faithfully for just as long. She currently works for the Fairbanks North Star Borough in Fairbanks, Alaska.
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