Your letters

We have started to receive emails from readers since this website appeared and our previous print newsletter was mailed in February 2002. We are asking writers to share their correspondence by allowing us to post their letters here. So far only two writers have agreed to allow us to post their letters here and they both asked to remain anonymous. On the other hand, those who have written solely about continuing education have allowed us to include their names.

This letter was sent to one of the recommended candidates in Region 1 by an AICP member who  wishes to remain anonymous because, he tells us, he works for a consulting firm and does not want to risk alienating potential or current clients.

I’m sure you don't remember me, but I was an undergrad who talked my way into a grad course of yours, much to your initial displeasure (and as I recall, later grudging acquiescence).

I have long felt that APA/AICP offers little to me except the AICP credential, which I have to pay each year to keep. Just what I need now is to be forced to spend time away from my family for, and pay for, specific continuing ed classes that probably have little to do with my work. I think your idea of “if we build it (attractive, nearby educational opportunities), they will come” is much more appropriate.

I had tossed the ballot in the trash this morning, thinking APA really doesn't mean much to me. Got your letter in the afternoon mail, so I retrieved the ballot and just sent it off with your full slate endorsed.

I don't know if your letter reached me by way of APA mailing list or Rutgers Alum, so I'll be passing it on to my APA colleagues. Best of luck in your quest to revitalize APA/AICP. I look forward to the results.

Massachusetts AICP Member

This letter was sent to Daniel Lauber, then candidate for AICP President–Elect by an AICP member who says she must remain unnamed. “Long story upon which I can't elaborate right now, but I'm in the hunt for a new position. I'd hate to have any comments interfere with my candidacy for a job.”

“Just looked over the newsletter and web page. Very impressive and informative! We've talked in general terms in the past about how you and other planners differ with the APA Board. Glad to see more specifics. Compelling stuff. Continue to be as specific as possible when identifying problems and offering solutions.

“While I've never worked for an association, living in DC for as long as I have has afforded me the opportunity to meet many who have. It would be most unfortunate for APA to join the ranks of those associations that institutionalize and otherwise legitimize the practice of limiting access to the highest levels of association governance. I always thought fighting the "old boy networks" was a cornerstone of good planning.

“Really like the idea of supporting at-risk planners. The scenarios you described, I believe, happen all too often. Sometimes I think if a planner isn't shaking things up a bit, something is wrong. Also, couldn't agree with you more about continuing education. The letter you reprinted from the fellow from Staten Island told quite a story.

“One comment I could offer concerns the extent to which developers are welcome at APA. I'm a good example. I proudly maintain my membership and AICP designation and think of myself as a planner first, then a developer. I have been selective about the type of development for which I am responsible. To the greatest extent possible, I temper my decision-making with consideration of whether I'm advancing "good planning." In this regard, I'm happy to say I'm not alone in the development community. You would be surprised the frequency at which I confront planners who take positions for what most disinterested observers and I would agree is "bad planning."

“Planning is not a zero sum game in every instance and more developers than you realize respect the planning practice. APA would be well-served by applying "inclusion" to those sympathetic souls working as developers. We're out there.

“I suspect you and I will disagree on certain specific issues. It's inevitable. But I believe you are headed in the right direction and will gladly support your candidacy. Putting a check in the mail today to help with newsletter expenses.”