…but the Work for 2021 is Just Beginning
The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA), like so many other organizations and hardworking Marylanders, had to adjust its routine in 2020 to meet the demand of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MPCA looks forward to the day that we can all once again meet in person to swap citizen planning insights, share good food, and network with our colleagues. However, this year the organization conducted its annual fall conference digitally in an all-day event on November 9, and thanks everyone who joined and contributed to an amazing experience!
But let’s allow MPCA President and member of the Gaithersburg Planning Commission, Danny Winborne, along with the other MPCA Officers, explain it themselves.
Sessions on Maryland’s Climate Change Adaptation Framework, Open Meetings Act Requirements, Designing for a Pandemic, County and Local Board Continuity Planning, and Virtual Planning During a Pandemic all contributed to the conference theme of Contingency Planning and Resilient Boards. The MPCA was also honored to recognize the work of the following citizen planners during the annual meeting.
You can find all the session presentations and recordings on the MPCA 2020 Conference webpage, including the annual meeting and recognitions.Amy Landsman of the Fire Museum of Maryland noted the MPCA’s call for citizen planner recognition submissions with great interest. Although the museum is not a planning commission, the staff and volunteers at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville submitted a video for recognition in Historic Preservation. The museum acquired a one-of-a-kind 1913 fire engine that is now on display right here in Maryland, which was a huge accomplishment, and they wanted to share their achievement with the MPCA membership.
- Amy Landsman of the Fire Museum of Maryland noted the MPCA’s call for citizen planner recognition submissions with great interest. Although the museum is not a planning commission, the staff and volunteers at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville submitted a video for recognition in Historic Preservation. The museum acquired a one-of-a-kind 1913 fire engine that is now on display right here in Maryland, which was a huge accomplishment, and they wanted to share their achievement with the MPCA membership.
- Matthew Fitzsimmons, Senior Associate with Hord Coplan Macht, submitted a recognition for the Johnston Square Vision Plan in Baltimore. Organization Rebuild Johnston Square developed and nurtured strong community partnerships to craft the vision plan. Check out the video in the annual meeting recording, to see Regina Hammond, President of Rebuild Johnston Square (and one of this year’s Sustainable Growth Award winners) tell the story for herself.
- Don Mulrine, Town Administrator for Denton in Caroline County, submitted a recognition for the town’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission for the member’s extended volunteer service to the Denton community. This Commission meets when property improvement applications are submitted for properties located within Denton’s Historic District. These members provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise due to their longevity in serving on this Commission. Each member takes great care in the application process when evaluating the material prior to the scheduled meeting which includes a site visit of the property.
- Kathy Mackel – 17 years of service, member since 2004Richard Peterson – 16 years of service, member since 2005
- Keith Bobbick – 11 years of service, member since 2010 Teresa Goss – 7 years of service, member since 2014
- Marc Lacoste – 1 year of service, member since 2019
- Kathy Mackel has served as Chairperson since May, 2005.
- Danny Winborne, MPCA President, recognized Phyllis Grover, Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Aberdeen, for her strong support of citizen planning in both her community and across the state, as well as her vital partnership with the MPCA. Phyllis served on a session panel in the 2018 conference and helped host the 2019 conference in Aberdeen.
You can find all the session presentations and recordings on the MPCA 2020 Conference webpage, including the annual meeting and recognitions.
2021 MPCA Initiatives
The MPCA is also very excited about its 2021 initiatives, including an update to the organization’s bylaws, building upon the regional workshop program (started in 2019) with new digital learning offerings, continuing to share best practices and timely resources, and engaging its membership. That last initiative is the most important of all!
The MPCA Executive Committee and Officers are dedicated to their work and to assisting citizen planners around the state, but they could use your help. The MPCA is actively recruiting members to its Board, which will advise the Executive Committee and support the implementation of the 2018 Strategic Plan.
The MPCA is also recruiting participants for a mentorship program, to start in 2021. If you are interested in sharing your wisdom with new citizen planners, or seeking the insight of experienced citizen planners, please contact Joe Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org.