December 2015/January 2016: From the President

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

The Roman god, Janus, represents both the beginning and end of events and thus is depicted with two faces looking both to the future and to the past. January, the month usually ascribed to this mythical deity, is an appropriate time to reflect on past achievements and future goals of the Western Planning Resources, Inc (WPR).
Bumpy as it has been, 2015 ended with some significant accomplishments concerning board leadership. These accomplishments are significant because, without a strong leadership, nothing would get done. For the past four years, the most capable and tenacious Amber Vogt, AICP, Planning and Zoning Director for Lawrence County, SD, served as the WPR treasurer. She will be stepping down from this position in January 2016 and Megan Nelms, AICP, Planner and Zoning Administrator, Campbell County, WY, will be assuming that role. To take on the treasurer position, Megan resigned her position as WPR vice president, which is now filled by Angela Parker, AICP, Platting Officer for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK. As a result, WPR board representation now spans between latitudes 65 degrees 50 minutes North (Fairbanks, AK) to 31 degrees 33 minutes North (Sierra Vista, AZ). For geography geeks, that is the greater portion of the North America continent!
Under the WPR board leadership, in particular, the efforts of Brad Stebleton, WPR Secretary, The Western Planner Journal issues dating back to 1980 have now been archived. This has been a long-term project spanning many years and assisted by many current and past board members and editors (Amber Vogt, Debbie Ehlers, Steve Kurtz, Larry Weil, Ken Waido and Stan Steadman to name a few). Brad will begin indexing the articles with the intent of making them available in the future to WP subscribers. Currently, select articles from Journal issues dating back to February/March 2012 are available online on the Western Planner website
Other significant accomplishments for 2015 need to be recognized, along with the board members and others that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make them happen are:

Five exceptionally well-written, beautifully formatted and keenly relevant Western Planner Journal issues: Rachel Girt, Editor; Mark Apel, past Editorial Board Chair, and Editorial Board members Stephanie Lowe, WY; Liz Lundholm, AICP, NV; Brad Stebleton, NM; Tim Solberg, ND; Jayna Watson, SD; and current Chair Candace Stowell, AICP, NV.
2015 Western Planner Conference, Laramie, WY, hosted by WYOPASS and WP: Charles Bloom, AICP, and all the Laramie Planning Department staff, as well as volunteers from WYOPASS.
The adoption of a 5-year Strategic Plan for WPR, setting sights for reorganization and fiscal sustainability: Western Planning Resources Board.

I am pleased to say that the WPR Board is hard-working and goal-oriented. Our desire is to serve the Western planning community or as stated in our mission statement: “We provide a network of professional and citizen planners to share vital and relevant knowledge and we educate our communities about the unique aspects of planning in the West.” The Western Planner Journal, the website ( and the annual conferences are the primary means of achieving our mission.
We encourage all our readers and members of our state organizations to share their knowledge through articles, presentations, and notifications. An excellent opportunity to do so will be in our upcoming Journal issues and the 2016 Montana Association of Planners/Western Planner Conference to be held in Great Falls, MT, August 10 – 12, 2016. A call for presenters will be soon issued for this conference and plans are well underway for an exceptional event. Please consider presenting at this conference and share your planning experience.
Take care – and keep making our world a better place!
Candi Millar, AICP
President, Western Planning Resources

Candi Millar, AICP, is the Director of the Planning and Community Services Department for the City of Billings, Montana. Please email her at


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