September/October President’s Message 

Chapter President-Elect Rick Sepler talks about public participation and the Road Map project. 

It's been my observation that there are two big "pushes" in jurisdictional planning—one in September and the other in January. The September push coincides with the end of summer (and summer vacations and recesses) and the start of the school year. Elected bodies and agencies initiate processes with a goal of advancing them before the holidays. The second push occurs in January, when New Year's resolutions can be applied. That second push is longer and extends to late June when summer slows efforts and makes it much harder to get participation.

If you work for a jurisdiction, this newsletter should catch you right in the middle of the first push— where you are no doubt trying desperately to complete whatever you are working on before mid-December.  If that is the case, thanks for taking the time away from your project to read this column!

My jurisdiction is no different and I find myself scrambling to meet deadlines and get ahead of issues. I guess much of what we do as planners is struggle to meet our deadline-driven work milestones while keeping abreast of what is happening in our community and profession.  I don't know about you, but I find that part of the equation difficult: meeting the immediate needs of my community often makes it very difficult to keep up on what is happening in our state and profession. For me, that is one of the key roles of the APA and the Washington Chapter—to provide access to what is happening in planning (and guidance on new techniques and approaches that may be applied professionally). 

As a very timely example, many of you will have heard about the Road Map to Washington's Future process being facilitated by the Ruckelshaus Center (UW/WSU). The Chapter and our members have much to contribute to this process and we as an organization are getting our arms around how best to participate. If you are interested in becoming involved and helping to craft our strategy, please contact me directly at [email protected]. I'll be happy to connect you with others who are excited by the promise and opportunities associated with this process. From my perspective, a key role of the Chapter President is to make connections (like in this case) and foster a collaborative atmosphere. 

As incoming President, I appreciate the opportunity to serve our membership, community and profession. I also need to acknowledge the fine work done by prior Presidents and Board members. APA's Washington Chapter remains a very successful and highly functioning organization thanks to their diligent (and often passionate) work!  

Our Chapter has been blessed with strong and capable leaders and our outgoing officers have carried on this tradition. Paula Reeves, who now assumes the role of Past President, has been tireless in her advocacy for our Chapter and profession. Josh Peters (Vice President), Matt Ransom (Treasurer) and Laura Benjamin (Secretary) have all been outstanding contributors to the organization. Chapeaus to all of you!



Return to the September/October issue of The Washington Planner