February/March 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.

We have all received a draft document submitted for review returned looking as if it fell to the slaughterhouse floor, so red with edits and revisions the original was nearly unrecognizable. Or maybe you are so lucky to have not had such severe reviews and tend to skate by with relatively benign, but helpful comments. Regardless, it is very likely the final document was much improved over the original draft. I am a strong believer that the quality of a product is enhanced by the contributions of many, rather than stand alone as an individual’s effort. I have learned over the years that this process of review and revision should not be taken as a direct assault to one’s ability, but an opportunity to learn and grow one’s own skills.
I’m taking this thought further to the value of partnerships and diversity of organizations; where one organization may stand to benefit from the input of comparable organizations. Taking this approach, WPR is pursuing a number of partnerships, as well as diversifying its Board to take advantage of the expertise and insight of knowledgeable organizations and exceptional people.

Diversifying the WPR Board

In the spirit of diversity and added competence, the Board welcomes two new board members in February. Alex Wenger, a Community Planner from Blaine, Washington, has joined the Board as the representative of the Planning Association of Washington. Alex is currently the President of PAW and brings to WPR great ideas and energy he has harnessed from that organization. As an example, follow the PAW’s Boot Camp series offered this year on the PAW website: http://www.planningpaw.org/2015/03/paw-land-use-boot-camps/. And thanks Alex, for putting a link to the Western Planner on your website!
Sherwin Racehorse, the Senior Planner for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, is an at-large member for the Board representing tribal interests. I have not met Sherwin personally, but I can tell this guy is a dynamo! Sherwin is currently on the Idaho APA board representing the SE Idaho region. Shortly after being electronically introduced, I began receiving emails from him regarding establishing the Tribal Planners Division of APA and promoting a proposed 2016 Tribal Planners Conference. The one-day conference, and/or strategic planning session to generate an action work plan, is proposed to be held on April 1, 2016 prior to the 2016 APA Conference in Phoenix, AZ. More information will be forthcoming as conference planning is underway or by contacting Sherwin directly at office phone (208) 478-3935 or email address: sracehorse@sbtribes.com. Sherwin also helped create a LinkedIn profile to bring national attention to efforts at creating the Tribal Planners Division of APA, as the Tribal Planners Interest Group at APA which can be found online here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6952941. He encourages sharing ideas related to tribal planning at that link and contacting him by email for access to upcoming teleconferences about the new APA Division or to assist in conference planning.

Growing partnerships

The WPR Board of Directors is also pursuing partnerships with other planning-related organizations, in hopes of gleaning ideas, article contributions and membership. I want to particularly mention our ties with the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute (RMLUI) and their continued contribution of the RMLUI Legal Corner written by Elizabeth Garvin. Hopefully it is not too late to advertise the 2016 RMLUI Conference to be held on March 10 -11 at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver, Colorado. Visit www.law.du.edu/rmlui to register.
Lastly, the value of our member states who co-host the annual Western Planner Conference cannot be overstated. As advertised in this Journal edition, the 2016 conference is co-hosted by the Montana Association of Planners and organized by the Great Falls, Montana Planning and Community Development Division. The conference will be held in Great Falls, August 10 – 12. A call for abstracts is now up on the Western Planner website at http://westernplanner.org/conferences/2016-conference. Great Falls is an extraordinary city on the banks of the Missouri River, rich in history and community amenities. Please consider joining us this summer as you make plans for your professional training and that summer vacation!
It is my honor and pleasure to serve as President of the WPR Board and represent all our great subscribers, member states and organizational partners. Because of you, the quality of our product, this Journal and the annual conferences, are greatly enhanced.
Take care – and keep making our world a better place!
Candi Millar, AICP
President, Western Planning Resources

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