August President's Message

By Paula Reeves, AICP CTP


If this season has generated more planning for drought, hazards, and emergency management in your community, you may find APA’s resources useful including publications, webinars and pod casts.  Visit the Drought Planning Website for additional information.  The information Jill Sterrett has assembled on the 10 Big Ideas webpage also offers some important resources, along with a new upcoming video series.  Be sure to check it out. As you all know, this summer has been unusually hot and dry. Statewide temperatures are running an average of 7 degrees above normal and we have seen nearly twice as much acreage impacted by wild fires.  Many of our communities across the state are also coping with drought. It is encouraging to hear about planners across the state stepping up to help in so many different ways, including community engagement on drought and emergency response, raising awareness about burn bans and water conservation, conducting vulnerability assessments, developing drought and emergency management plans, and assisting farmers coping with drought.

Looking ahead to what I hope will be a cooler autumn, it is time again to elect new Section, Chapter, and National Officers. We have been hard at work implementing a substantial change, a consolidation of National, Chapter, and Section elections. Until this year, State APA Chapters have had their own policies guiding elections. With this change, our Chapter term start dates have been moved up to better align with the January 1st start date set by National APA Washington was among the first Chapters to move to consolidate elections and I think it went well, but hope for more interest in Section and Chapter Offices in next year’s elections. By holding consolidated elections, we hope for a simpler, more streamlined transition between officers, and more connection with and continuity in developing organization policy. 

Ballots for this election were posted online and emailed to members on August 6, 2015. So let us know if you didn’t receive yours.  The deadline for returning ballots is September 10, 2015, and results of the election will be announced soon after. The APA Washington Chapter endorses Whit Blanton, FAICP for APA President-Elect and Glenn Larson, FAICP for AICP President-Elect based on their connections with our state, past achievements, and alignment with our goals, particularly for education.  The other candidate running for APA President-Elect is Cynthia Bowen, AICP, LEED AP, and the other candidate for AICP President-Elect is David Gattis, FAICP.       

If you have suggestions for improving the elections process or increasing interest in Chapter and Section offices, please share those with me at [email protected]

APA Washington also made several new Board appointments this month. Long-time Legislative Committee Co-chair, Josh Peters, was appointed to serve as Vice President replacing Laura Hudson.  Laura has been a major contributor to the chapter for many years. Since 2012 she has served as Vice President of the Chapter and was previously active in and president of the Southwest Section. She also recently led the planning for the GMA 25th Anniversary Event, initiated the Section Coordination Committee, coordinated the Chapter's transition to the national APA's consolidated election process, led the Marketing and Logo Design committee for the 2015 National Planning Conference, was instrumental in the Big Ideas Working Groups, and oversaw update of the chapter bylaws in 2014. On behalf of APA Washington, I thank Laura for her time, energy, commitment and humor—she will be sorely missed!

Hiller West has been appointed to serve as the Allied Professions Liaison. Hiller will help increase connections and coordinate professional development opportunities with our partner organizations including AIA, ASLA, PAW, ULI, ITE, APHA and others. I know many of our members are also members of these organizations, so if you have ideas for Hiller about coordination or would like to serve on his committee, please let me know. 

Related to training and development, Nancy Eklund, APA Washington Professional Development Officer, and Oneza Ferdouse, Chair of Continuing Education, have been extremely busy helping to provide 40 CM credits at 14 different events across the state ranging from training on census data to ecosystem planning. This included four Planners Forums last month, in Northwest, Southwest, Peninsula, and Inland Empire Sections. We have already doubled professional development opportunities from 2014!  

APA Washington participation in and connection to national APA continues to increase with APA Washington’s recent participation in the Student and New Planner Focus Groups this month to expand services and opportunities to our new members and student planners. Thanks to all who participated in those discussions.  If you were not able to join the conversations and have ideas related to APA’s offerings for students and new planners, please send them to our Eric Howard, APA Washington Chair of the Young Planners Group at: [email protected].

We are also finalizing the Chapter Strategic Plan now based on your comments, so please send your feedback.  

Last but not least, please remember to register for the GMA 25th Anniversary Event on November 13th. Space is limited, so register early to ensure a seat for this one-day discussion and debate followed by food and fun at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. 

All the best, 

Paula Reeves

Return to August issue of The Washington Planner