Nine planning commission and citizen advisory pitfalls

© Can Stock Photo/alexmillos

Planning commissions and citizen advisory committees are a key aspect of our society. Whether it’s a library board, a civil service commission, a parks and recreation board, a lodging tax committee, or one of many  more, these dedicated citizens provide the underpinning for our social and civic structures.

Sometimes, however, their meetings encounter serious challenges. This is the Jurassic Parliament list of nine pitfalls specific to planning commissions and citizen committees that we have observed:

  • Asking for the moon
  • Confusion about scope
  • Confusion about staff role
  • Confusion about your job
  • Deafened by decibels
  • Decision delay
  • Failure to read packet
  • Lost in the weeds/analysis paralysis
  • Shrinking from hard choices

Get training on these pitfalls, and other tips and guidelines, in our self-paced online course, Great Planning Commission Meetings, available 24/7.

Purchase self-paced online workshop

Many thanks to Ric Stephens of Portland Oregon who prepared the first list on that inspired Jurassic Parliament.

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.