March President's Message


My condo Board starts every meeting with an opportunity for members to share personal life updates; we call this Joys & Concerns.  This month, I'm sharing a professional version -- as my closest colleagues know, after 27,480 hours of thinking big regional thoughts, I will be leaving my current position at an MPO to become a Comprehensive Planning Manager at a county. 

Hooray (!) I will once again have the privilege of being a local government planner, complete with public meetings, public citizens and locally elected officials.  I am excited for this new chapter!  And, because my APA Washington contact information won't change, you can still share your cool planning projects and deep planning thoughts with me.


Work is fully underway on the Local Host Committee elements of the National Conference.  As of mid-February, over 4,000 people had signed up, and spots at the opening reception, underground tour, Mariners games, etc. are filling up.  If you're a local and want to sign up for these mobile workshops or tours, sign up soon!  It would make us feel bad to see our closet planner friends locked out because they got complacent.


While the major focus is on the national conference, there's a lot more happening at the chapter.  Here's a few highlights: 

Prez-Elect Paula Reeves and VP Laura Hudson are moving into full speed on the fall 2015 GMA 25th Anniversary Event.  This will include some hard-to-get Legal and perhaps Ethics credit opportunities, it will look back over the past 25 years and look forward.  We're including an enhanced Awards program- as I wrote 2 months ago...the best of GMA (UGAs?) and the worst of GMA (Vesting during periods of invalidity?).  Confirmed partners include AWC, Commerce and Futurewise.  Contact us if you have thoughts or want to get involved.

The chapter submitted three applications for national APA grants to link planning with public health. This was really exciting because the public health movement is what created the urban planning profession.  And, because the process of pulling these together created new relationships for the chapter. 

The award-winning Legislative Committee is hard at work reviewing bills, providing comment and testimony, and sharing news and relevant information through the e-blast LEAD.  We hope members continue to enjoy the increased attention we are placing on sharing relevant and timely information to you during the session. 

The website update is nearly complete with new Get Involved page for members considering volunteering, as well as a new Become a Sponsor page for folks considering sponsorship.  We've added a lot of content to the Events calendar for those looking for training opportunities.  And, lastly, there's lots of job announcements...and sometimes viewing this leads really great planners to new exciting planning positions, such as managing a Comprehensive Plan update for a county!


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

Return to March issue of The Washington Planner