January President's Message

Welcome to 2015; I hope you had a joyful holiday season.

2015 is a big year for the Washington Chapter of APA and below I list some key highlights.  But, I'd be remiss if I didn't first wrap up with a few highlights from 2014.

2014 Highlights

So many other highlights and so little time!  Here are a few that we are proud of: 

●     #28531 – For AICP planners, the code number for entering CM credits from the (great) Spokane conference (full link: https://www.planning.org/cm/search/event/?EventID=28531).

●     Short Course MOA – The chapter entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the state Department of Commerce, the Planning Association of Washington, and the Washington Cities Insurance Authority.  This is a great opportunity for the chapter, working with its partners, to support planners by training elected officials, planning commissioners, and citizen planners on planning best practices.  We are pleased that the planner presentation will now be first, so we get to inspire participants before the attorney appropriately restrains the exuberance we have inspired. 

●     Updated Website – More small changes are occurring, but the general overhaul is mostly complete.  Thanks to many, but especially Kimbra Wellock, for leading this task force. 

●     Growing Membership – When I became vice president a few years ago, we talked about 1,200+ members; that sounded pretty impressive to me.   Now, thanks to an increased focused on membership benefits, we can start talking about 1,400+ members. 

●     2014 Board Meetings – The Board met more often than usual last year, officers held monthly calls, and section presidents held quarterly calls to share ideas.  This extra, but not onerous, level of coordination has helped the chapter address issues, build resources and be more effective.  We wrapped up 2014 with our final meeting where we adopted the 2015 budget (thanks to many, especially our new Treasurer Matt Ransom for managing this important process), final prep work to synchronize Section elections with the national APA schedule, action to set aside additional funds for scholarships, and other important administrative issues. 

2015 Highlights

Just a few items for you to look forward to:

●     National Conference – OMG, the conference is coming, the conference is coming!  This has been a very large organizing effort, and some committees have more work to complete – finalizing mobile workshops, finalizing the Planners Guide and Orientation Tour, wrapping up the Sponsorships, setting the table and bar for the Opening Reception, blogging on the national APA website, plus more (CPATs, student auction, host events, etc.).  Thank you to everyone who has been helping, including co-chairs Paul Inghram and Deborah Munkberg!

●     Legislative Session – The committee is gearing up for an interesting session that may be dominated by non-planning issues.  That said, there are always planning bills – some we like and some we work to improve.  The committee will continue its weekly LEAD emails so that you know about key dates and deadlines, bills you may want to track or comment on, and activities of the committee. 

●     GMA 25th Anniversary Event – It’s the silver anniversary of GMA next year.  The chapter will partner with other key stakeholders to discuss the great successes of GMA (personally, I vote for UGAs and Multicounty Planning Policies) and the great opportunities for improvement (personally, I vote for an unstable/unfair tax system that corrupts good land use planning as well as vesting during periods of invalidity).  What's your vote?  The event takes the place of our regular fall conference, and it will definitely include CM credits.  Stay tuned for details.

Making a list is tough because not everything gets to be on it.  So, in closing, also look for the Puget Sound Section's new brownbag series (PLACES), additional Community Planning Assistance Team events, future editions of the Planning Commissioners Quarterly, other Section socials and Planners Forums, Short Courses with APA Washington as a participant, FAICP nominations, Game Changing Initiative events and resources, great newsletter articles (of course), Continuing Education events and training, AICP trainings and exams, Kids in Planning events, the annual Joint Awards program, critically important activities of the Membership Committee such as a new member welcome phone calls, Young Planners Group social and educational activities…and more.  I hope to see you at one of these events in 2015.

And, if attending is not enough for you and you want to help make these great, send me an email. 

Ivan Miller, AICP
President, APA Washington
[email protected]

Return to January issue of The Washington Planner