Clancy Mullen: I believe we are in a moment of crisis/transition. The old guard is running out of ideas and energy, and we’re not getting much new participation. We rely heavily on our email list, but it shrinks as people change jobs. We are on a declining path in terms of new program content and conference attendance. The old guard and the old model are running out of steam.
I’m a founding board member of this organization, and have served on the board since we incorporated in 2004. I am realizing it is getting close to time to move on. I would like to share my thoughts on the future of the group, in the hopes of getting a discussion going with other board members, the board’s planning committee, and anyone else who finds this and is interested in being part of the dialogue.
We can’t continue to rely much longer on our shrinking email contacts list. My belief is that we need to renew our focus on impact fee practitioners and their needs. And we need a better online platform to connect with them. For starters, maybe we change the name back to something that has “impact fee” in it. I could transfer the ownership of our company’s impactfees.com site to GIC if having that web address is of interest to the group.
To make the website more engaging, we need to offer more resources on-line besides last year’s PowerPoint presentations. We are planning to video-record our sessions this year, and we might be able to edit those into online sessions that planners could use to obtain AICP certification maintenance credits, including legal and ethics credit hours. I also have some static content on our company website that we could put on our site (I have already put a few things on it). Carson Bise, one of our board members, has suggested that we could offer quarterly webinar sessions. I assume we could get these approved for AICP credits, although I don’t know exactly what the requirements for that are.
This reactivated blog page can serve as a forum for sharing our thoughts on the future of GIC beyond our little group, with the dialog happening online versus by email. If we are rethinking the future of the organization publicly, and in an accessible way so other people can comment, that might help us grow our base of committed participants.
Given the limited energy of our small group, if we want to focus on the online platform, it might make sense to take a year off from putting on a national conference. I have traditionally taken on the responsibility for putting the program together, but I am not willing to commit to doing it next year. I made this clear in an email to the board/planning committee a month and a half ago, if not earlier, and no one has yet volunteered to fill this role for next year. Unless someone else steps up, we are not going to have a conference next year anyway.
In addition to beefing up our online presence, we might also consider hosting or at least promoting some state-level or regional gatherings of impact fee practitioners. If local organizers desire, we could use our unlimited annual non-profit subscription as a certification maintenance credit provider for the American Planning Association to get any formal sessions eligible for AICP credit. Kathleen Ball, a planning committee member from Pinal County, has indicated an interest in organizing some kind of gathering in Arizona for impact fee managers who are not going to be able to attend the national conference in Florida this year.
We desperately need new energy on the Board. We have informally expanded the Board to include six additional members of the Future Conference Planning Committee, which is a good step that gives us the potential to harness the energy and input of more people in the future. We need to talk about how we can effectively solicit new Board and Planning Committee members willing to commit some time to rethinking our organization. I am hoping that this blog can get that conversation going and draw others into our little group.
Clancy Mullen, Secretary, Growth & Infrastructure Consortium