Newer Commissioners and Board Members Invited to Learn from Experienced Leaders
by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
The need for a peer/leader support network has been discussed within the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) for some time. There have been several approaches developed over the past couple of years – stalled, though never stymied by the pandemic – but the fundamental idea remains unchanged – to pair up incoming or only recently established planning commission and board members with seasoned members.
The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) initiated the regional workshop program in the spring of 2019 to supplement its annual conference and bring citizen and professional planners together to learn from each other and share the unique joys and challenges of planning in their region. Since that time, the MPCA has hosted regional workshops in Hagerstown, Annapolis, Salisbury, Denton, and most recently on January 31, 2023, in La Plata, Charles County.
The 39th annual Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) conference, Planning for Challenges on the Horizon, was an even greater success than we could have imagined!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was MPCA’s first in-person conference since 2019. While we enjoyed the 2020 and 2021 virtual versions, there is nothing like gathering in one place and sharing the joy, frustration, and sense of accomplishment that is citizen planning.
The MPCA Executive Committee sincerely thanks our distinguished guest speakers: Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner; Frederick City Mayor Michael O’Connor; Frederick City Planning Commission Chair Barbara Nicklas; Secretary of Planning Robert McCord; and Keynote Speaker Eli Glazier, Transportation Planner Coordinator for the Montgomery County Planning Department.
by Kristen Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
Maryland’s citizen planners volunteer endless hours to their communities. Unfortunately, this civic dedication often goes overlooked. However, each year at MPCA’s annual conference, the Executive Committee recognizes the contributions of exceptional citizen planners and/or entire planning boards (planning commissions, boards of zoning appeals, historic district commissions) from around the state. This year was no exception!