Hello: Why a Planning Commissioner Blog?October 16, 2009
Because public policy can be complicated and three minutes at a hearing is a pretty limited opportunity to engage in a substantive conversation.
Just figuring out what the Planning Commission is doing can be a daunting challenge, even before you attempt to influence the decisions. It’s not uncommon to have a staff report of over a hundred pages on a topic. Not that staff reports aren’t useful (we have some of the most talented planning staff around). But finding the key issues in that 100 page report may not be easy.
My goal with this blog is to make the process more accessible to citizens. This will be a learning experience, but I think I’ll be able to do this in several ways:
- Highlight upcoming topics
- Give my view on what the key issues are on a given topic
- Provide a forum for discussion on these topics, including asking provocative questions when helpful
If nothing else, at least there will be an RSS feed that will include upcoming agenda items and links to key documents.
My experience is that public policy is almost always a set of trade-offs. There are multiple “goods” to be weighed and balanced. If you come here looking for a preview of where I think the balance point is, or how I’m going to vote, you’re going to be disappointed. But I do hope to provide thoughts and questions about what factors are being weighed in the balance.
I want to be absolutely clear on one point: I don’t claim to be speaking for anyone other than myself. On this blog, I do not represent the Planning Commission, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability or the City of Portland. These will be the perspectives of one individual Planning Commissioner.
An overriding goal here will be to keep the conversation civil. I’ve had some experience doing this at Portland Transport, where with help I’ve been managing an online policy conversation for four years. I’ve adapted many of the same rules to use here. Your cooperation with these rules is appreciated.
So with a little trepidation, here we go…
Please feel free to comment on this post and tell me what would make this site useful for YOU!
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