More Views on AICP’s Certification Maintenance Proposal

Here are unedited letters in alphabetical order — pro and con — sent by AICP and APA members to the AICP Commission on the 2007 proposal for Certification Maintenance. If you would like to have your views posted here, please send them in an email by clicking here and clearly stating that we may publish your letter here. We will post all letters we receive as long as they are civil and do not engage in character defamation. Some letters are in PDF files that will open in another tab or window (see Table of Contents).

Table of Comments
Letters in PDF files will open in a new tab or window.
Dave Abrams
Roger Bardsley
Alec Bash
Jim Boerke
Jim Butler
Sam Casella
Jennifer Coile
Gloria Cousar
Cynthia Eliason
Pete Erlenbach
Ann Fathy

Frederick Goodrich
Froda Greenberg

Randall Johnson
Allison Kendall
Rick Kuner
Daniel Lauber (PDF file)
Carla Lerman

Rob LeBeau
Lane Kendig
William Mayland

Stuart Meck
(PDF file)
New Jersey APA Chapter (PDF file)
Anthony Palermo
James Peters
Tom Salkowski
Jack Stokvis
Marc Weiss
Dave Abrams, AICP
As a charter AICP member I am strongly opposed to the Certification Maintenance proposal. I believe the “if it aint broke so dont fix it adage applies here. There would be great expense and aggravation to the individual AICP members, with minimal if any value in return.
Back off and leave a good thing alone.

The following letter from Mr. Bardsley may be our favorite response in support of certification maintenance, probably because it is so articulate and carefully thought out.

Roger Bardsley, AICP
Stuff it Daniel

Alec Bash, a former AICP Commissioner and two–time APA award winner:

Dear AICP Commissioners,

I was surprised to learn from an associate that the Commission is proposing mandatory “continuing professional development” to maintain AICP membership, and soliciting member comments solely through the website under the perhaps less-controversial term AICP Certification Maintenance.

Potential changes this monumental should be the subject of an email to the entire membership. Also, let's not shy away from the words mandatory continuing professional development, since as I understand the proposal, it would transform the Continuing Professional Development Program (CPDP) into a mandatory program. I suggest we continue with the clearer and straight forward designation we've used in the past. Let's present this directly as planners and not try to frame it in more artful language.

I expect you will find strong feelings on the issue. In my years of service on the Commission (1994-1998), this topic was debated several times. A brainstorming committee on which I served recommended making educational offerings important and attractive rather than making continuing education mandatory.

My personal experience leads me to strongly oppose mandatory continuing education, to the point where I would reconsider my membership. My 30 years public sector experience had many periods of intense work, 12+ hour days including most weekends, when the concept of leaving for a conference was simply unthinkable. One of those periods extended five years, when I was directing my agency's planning effort for Mission Bay, which garnered APA awards for Outstanding Plan (1988) and a Current Topic Award for Environmental Planning (1993). Further, my local planning agency had no budget for conferences or travel associated therewith. However, the intensity of the work, and the challenges I faced, provided a continuing education in the trenches that was invaluable in staying up on professional practice.

Once on the AICP Commission and thereafter, for many years I was a regular conference attendee. I have to say, the many conference sessions and workshops I've attended have not made me change my belief that it was what I learned in my work in planning, supplemented by individual research as needed on areas of planning concern, that made me successful as a planner. Mandatory continuing professional development would have been simply a bureaucratic burden.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments, and I encourage you to do a broader solicitation than has occurred thus far.

Alec Bash, AICP

Jim Boerke, AICP

Dear Commission members:

Although I personally can account for the required number of hours proposed for the minimum continuing education requirement to maintain AICP membership, I am steadfastly opposed to the AICP Commission's proposal to require mandatory continuing education in order to maintain AICP membership. My recommendation is to continue the current voluntary continuing education program.

The reasons for opposing the proposal have been eloquently enumerated by many of my fellow AICP members. I see many AICP members who I respect, such as Stuart Meck, Daniel Lauber, and Alec Bash clearly in opposition to this proposal. Their logic is well presented and their positions are irrefutable. I have been a practicing planner for 38 years, 27 years as an AICP member. I have learned far more through my everyday work experiences than I will ever learn in a continuing education class… and I learn on a daily basis.

Do not adopt any proposal requiring mandatory continuing education to maintain AICP membership!
Jim Boerke, AICP

 

James S. Butler, AICP, Executive Director, Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments

Please find below my comments concerning the Connecticut APA Chapter’s position against APA’s proposed mandatory AICP certification program. As stated below, I agree with the position of my Chapter leadership on this issue. I also concur with the objections to the proposed program cited on the web site APAWatchDog.org, which have been formulated by some of the most experienced and respected professionals in our field.

I have worked as a professional planner for 32 years and have been a member of AICP for almost 24 years (#4398, May 1983), but I am afraid that if the mandatory certification program is enacted, I will no longer see fit to remain a member of AICP. I urge you to reject this proposal.

Comments to Connecticut Chapter of APA

I just read the Chapter's position paper on APA's proposed mandatory certification for AICP planners. I wish to extend my congratulations and thanks to the drafters of this well written statement and to the Executive Committee, which had the wisdom to adopt it. I concur with almost all of the recommendations made in this document.

I will say I strongly agree with the conclusion that if APA were to go ahead with the program they have proposed, many planners like me, possibly many more than APA could imagine, would simply let their AICP certification lapse. Although extremely proud to be an AICP certified planner, it is no longer necessary or relevant for me in my current position. It would not only be the cost associated with the mandatory maintenance requirement, but also the time commitment and the time away from my office that would lead me to conclude that it would simply not be worth the effort. I imagine many other veteran planners, if inclined to apply for a new job, would be willing to let their body of work over long careers speak for itself, and would not worry that they no longer could list four initials after their name. I'm sorry that I feel this way, but being a member of AICP does not now mean to me what it once did. That may be due partly to the specific job I now work in, but also may have to do with how APA (national, not CCAPA) has conducted business and served its constituency in recent years.

I've already said more than I originally intended. I simply wished to thank you and the Executive Committee for this thoughtful position paper and for representing us so well. Keep up the great work.

Sam Casella, FAICP

I'm unalterably opposed to AICP interference with my personal continuing education decisions, and urge AICP not to go forward with its “certification maintenance” proposal.

Sam Casella, FAICP/PP
AICP President 2001-2003
APA President 1993-1995

 

From Jennifer Coile, AICP:
I have been an AICP member since 1982, 25 years, and self-employed during half those years. I have invested in numerous activities to refine my skills, expand my technical knowledge and view projects. I have rarely been able to afford to take myself to an APA National Conference because of the costs of lodging and travel, paid for in after-tax dollars, not to mention lost earnings because of not working. Also, I find the presentations are generally superficial compared to what I need in particular topic areas. I STRONGLY SUPPORT VOLUNTARY CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING. I am OPPOSED TO MANDATORY CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING because:

- This is not realistic and sensitive to the situation of planners working in rural areas  - poorly paid by low-budget employers without training appropriations, it is a burden to invest in course/conference fees and travel. Local training opportunities are limited.

- In my career, my work has had different emphases – transportation planning and projects, California redevelopment, affordable housing. A one-size-fits-all mandatory AICP-CM program may not cover the specialized in-depth training I have needed e.g. HUD CHDO support, ISTEA grants, etc.

- For the self-employed, we don’t have paid time off for these activities. so we are strategic about what we select.

- What’s magic about 48 hours?

- I honestly don’t know any planning colleagues who are NOT involved in continuing education activity, relevant and doable on their own terms. It’s not clear why the AICP Commission believes mandatory continuing education is needed – have you documented a long list of slackers/lazy people who are out of date and incompetent? .

- I don’t want my AICP dues spent on admin costs for monitoring a program of questionable utility.

Jennifer N. M. Coile, AICP

 

From Gloria Cousar, AICP:

As a member of  APA and AICP-designee, I am disappointed by the proposed certification maintenance requirements. If enacted, these stipulations are likely to transform AICP into an exclusionary club for exclusionary planners, rather than ensuring any greater competence on the part of existing certified planners. I am not in favor of adopting this proposal and urge its withdrawal for the following reasons:
---It is already difficult for many members to afford to attend the Annual Conference and pay the high cost training programs and extremely expensive publications, since the average planner's salary is modest, by comparison with architects, engineers, real estate brokers, or attorneys. (Folks don't get a pay raise just because they become AICP.)
--Aside from the added cost, the certification maintenance provision for 48 hours is excessive, particularly since most practicing planners can hardly squeeze 16 hours within a two year period to go to a 2-day conference or seminar on their own dime.
--The provisions to grant exceptions or deferrals of the maintenance requirements are likely to generate more ethical violations, than fewer, since those who lack the resources and time to fulfill the requirements will be harder pressed to retain their AICP designation.
---What is the basis for the educational credit thresholds? Did anybody do a survey of the type of essential training, its frequency or cost that AICP member planners on average, actually spend money to attend?
---Perhaps unintentionally, this proposal constitutes an over-regulation of professionals who are already doing a decent job of keeping up with the state of the art with limited means. Are there so many technical errors or ethical violations being committed by AICP planners that this is needed? (A primary motivation of continuing education in real estate was the prevalence of housing discrimination, and the passage of the Fair Housing Act.)
---How much credentialing will be enough? With this proposal, the APA/AICP will be obligated to offer and/or accredit the widest array of training that planners find useful, or cannot find at universities,...or run the risk of requiring professionals to undergo training that is not essential to their business emphasis.
--- Before taking on such a responsibility, what will be the cost to members of this added institutional role? No budget or cost benefit analysis has been performed to suggest, support, or compel going down such a path. WHERE'S THE MATH?????
 
Gloria Cousar, AICP

Cynthia Eliason, AICP

I am writing in objection to the proposed certification program. Attending APA-sponsored programs is costly and not always the appropriate training I need to do my job. I attend legislative reviews, CEQA updates and specific training in historic preservation, none of which is offered by APA and therefore, does not meet the narrow choices designed within this program, even though it meets my needs and is more cost effective than any APA conference I have attended.
 
In 1998 I received one of the AICP Continuing Education Professional Development Program Certificates.  I have not pursued any additional certificates because of the 50% APA requirement. Please note that if this proposal is implemented AICP planners in budget-strapped communities will likely be forced to resign form AICP.  I know that will be my response.
 
Cynthia Eliason, AICP
Supervising Planner, City of Alameda, CA

 

Pete Erlenbach, AICP

The current proposed 40 hour/2 year CM program is ONEROUS. I agree that a CM program is probably long over due, but lets not self-destruct the AICP program with the first shot out of the gate. I've been an AICP member since 1994. Most likely, if the current proposal is adopted my AICP membership will cease following the initial CM period.

APA will see a significant drop in AICP membership if this proposal is adopted. A 3-year cycle is more realistic and attainable.

Pete Erlenbach, AICP, CEcD

 

From Ann Fathy AICP, a long–time leader in California planning law:

I am an AICP member and have been a professional planner since 1960. I take pride in being a professional planner and continue to educate myself on planning-related issues. Since 1990 I have also been (and continue to be) a licensed California attorney. As such every three years I am required to take 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) courses, which include mandatory courses on ethics, bias, and substance abuse. I have found MCLE requirements to be necessary hoops to go through, but not helpful in making me a better attorney. I think the same would hold true for requiring AICP members to comply with the proposed Certification Maintenance Program.

A professional planner will continue to learn what is interesting and important to his or her work as a professional. That kind of learning has value, because it is motivated by the personal desires of the planner. A Certificate Maintenance Program would not have the same value; it would become just hoops to go through to maintain AICP eligibility. The costs of the program and the costs to the individual members will not result in better planners. If you want to improve the quality of planners and enhance their expertise, a much better approach is to make available more, and varied, educational resources at no cost or affordable cost.

Ann T. Fathy, AICP
San Diego, CA

Froda Greenberg, AICP

Hello again,
My concerns are still the same, and they are more heartfelt and strongly felt (see below). I've been reading comments critical of the revised certification maintenance program and support them. While there have been changes to the proposed program, they are not substantive. As usual, Stuart Meck's comments hit the nail on the head. None of the required credits should have to be from APA and/or APA-sponsored events. If this proposed program is enacted, while I hope you are taken to court, it is a bittersweet wish since my dues will be used for such a needless defense. I am perplexed why AICP insists on going forward with this proposal. AICP does not make me a competent planner. I do. Period. It appears I can't be trusted to know what training will enhance my skill set and my knowledge base. I consistently take advantage of many training opportunities that my employer offers by bringing trainers in-house (cost effective for our organization). I was honored to study Appreciative Inquiry with Amanda Trosten-Bloom. I also was honored by being asked to attend a 40-hour training to become a certified mediator. Both trainings have been invaluable for me and for the community I serve. I shouldn't be penalized from taking advantage of these in-house offerings because APA doesn't
recognize them.

Finally,and once again, many people plan to retire before they reach age 65. Revise the definition of retired and/or the requirements for being a
retired AICP member please.
Enjoy your day!
Froda Greenberg

 

From APA member Frederick Goodrich of Tallahassee, FL:

I am writing about the AICP commission's proposal to create mandatory continuing education requirements to maintain a planner's AICP certification. I am a 10-year APA member. I am not an AICP member, but I am eligible for certification. While I support the idea of continuing education, I am concerned about the punitive tone of the proposal. The notion that people could be penalized if they didn't meet the requirement of rather costly courses is
bothersome to me. Rather than encourage planners to seek opportunities for continuing education, I believe it would work to the long-term detriment of both the AICP and the APA.

I don't know if the APA management fully appreciates this, but many of the rank and file planners do not make a significant amount of money. Planners aren't in this field for the money. My relatively low salary is the key reason why I haven't sought certification at this point even though I have been eligible for four yers now. My employer does not pay for my APA dues, so if I were to seek AICP certification (something I really want to do), I would have to pay a significant amount of money out of pocket when I have many other obligations. And with this requirement I would have to spend even more time and money to
maintain a credential that, however valuable, frankly doesn't help me in my current position. I don't have the time or money to go to the national APA conference (although I would like to go) and many of the APA's materials are expensive. My employer will not cover the cost of the conference or f or APA materials. And for young people entering the profession with several thousand dollars in student loan payments and having to deal with the rising cost of living, it would be almost impossible to meet this requirement without hardship. Rather than make the AICP certification more meaningful, the proposed mandatory certification would place a strong disincentive to seek certification, and maybe even APA membership. The long term effect could be fewer people seeking certification, especially for those who are not supported by their employers and have to pay for it out of pocket.

As a 10-year member, I appreciate all that APA and AICP have to offer, but the reality is that many other people can call themselves planners and do the work of planners without having to belong to APA or to obtain AICP certification. This is the real issue that the AICP should be alarmed about. For too many practicing professionals, AICP isn't something that is supported the way it needs to be. It is my wish the AICP Commission work to make certification and continuing education affordable and available for all planners so that they don't end up being the domain of those with the means to do so. I agree with you that continuing education should be a cornerstone of every professional planner. But this proposal is not the way to do that.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my comments.
Frederick W. Goodrich

From Randall Johnson, AICP, MetroGIS Staff Coordinator for the Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, Minnesota:

My name is Randall Johnson.  I have been a member of a APA/ASPO continuously since the mid-1970's and a member of AICP since 1983.  I support the concept of continuing education and I would expect that those of you who have proposed the AICP "Certification Maintenance" program to have done your homework.  That said, I would like to know more about the anticipated annual cost in terms of out-of-pocket expenses and time investment needed to comply with the proposed certification, and how these costs compare and contrast with that for several other professions with programs in place.   
 
My immediate reaction is that a two-year cycle may be too aggressive.  With budget cuts over the past few years, conference attendance has been all but eliminated and work load is such that it is tough to find time to take needed time off, let alone also carve out significant additional time for training.  Finally, I can honestly say that I did not realize a direct benefit from my AICP annual dues while actively practicing as a city planner for over 20 years.  I paid the fee because I worked hard to achieve certification and did not want to relinquish it.  I have also continued to the pay the AICP annual fee for the past eleven years although not working as a city planner.  Again, I am proud of the certification and do not want to relinquish it even though there is a good chance I will never actually work again as a city planner. 
 
Respectfully,
Randall Johnson, AICP
Table of Comments
Letters in PDF files will open in a new tab or window.
Dave Abrams
Roger Bardsley
Alec Bash
Jim Boerke
Jim Butler
Sam Casella
Jennifer Coile
Gloria Cousar
Cynthia Eliason
Pete Erlenbach
Ann Fathy

Frederick Goodrich
Froda Greenberg

Randall Johnson
Allison Kendall
Rick Kuner
Daniel Lauber (PDF file)
Carla Lerman
Rob LeBeau
Lane Kendig
William Mayland

Stuart Meck
(PDF file)
New Jersey APA Chapter (PDF file)
Anthony Palermo
James Peters
Tom Salkowski
Jack Stokvis
Marc Weiss

Allison Kendall, AICP

Dear AICP Leaders,

As an AICP member since 1985 with my own small planning and urban design practice, I have several concerns about the proposal to require “continuing education” for certification reauthorization. Already, the cost of APA and AICP dues is extremely burdensome for my small firm.   I also belong to a large number of other design and planning related groups which provide valuable networking and professional development opportunities. I have decided NOT to join the AIA, in part because its high fees and ongoing continuing education requirement are just too high for me to justify in both time and money as a small, two person firm.

In the course of my consulting, I am constantly purchasing books and reading, making use of public workshops and paying for conferences, workshops and training from local universities, public agencies, APA, AIA, ASLA and many other sources, in order to develop my understanding of new and emerging areas of planning and design to serve my clients. I doubt very much that AICP would be able to determine the exact mix of training needed for my specific collection of services.

 When I took the AICP exam in 1985 I found I had to forget the state of the art planning approaches to parking and transportation management, historic preservation and urban design which I had been using in San Francisco Bay area cities and “pretend I was in a generic mid-western town circa 1950.”   Each community has different issues, and develops its approaches to respond to them. I suspect that enforcing a standard approach will be very difficult, and ultimately end up frustrating participants.

 I would suggest that before you alienate the most experienced planners in the APA (generally speaking, those with the AICP designation) you spend some time finding out what kinds of professional development would be effective and useful to your membership. Unfortunately, APA is not very effective at this. The online APA news is not very easy to use for quick reference, unlike, say Planetizen or other services. The local chapters are very primitive in using new technologies to keep in touch with their members and offer relevant activities. I recently participated in an “on line” seminar on Street design in Santa Monica which was utterly frustrating and provided none of the opportunities for interaction which had been touted as their attraction. I recently dropped membership in professional groups in Urban Design and Transportation because I derive no value from these groups. In short, I would urge that before taking this action, you carefully consider what you are trying to achieve, and invest in developing a convenient way for members to take advantage of existing professional tools in a time and cost effective manner.

Thanks for providing a chance to comment.

Alison Kendall, AICP, Kendall Planning & Design

Carla Lerman, AICP

I think the Certification Maintenance "plan" as presented here, including the very minor changes indicated from the first plan, is a wrong direction for the AICP Commission to take.  Not having been in on this whole discussion before the last few days when I received the first email about it, I come to the discussion with no preconceived idea about the issues.

Having said that, it seems absolutely transparent that the Commission's goal (on its own or pushed by the leadership of APA) is to increase the influence and the revenues for
AICP and APA.  I would resent very much having to find trainings that are sponsored by AICP or APA, rather than something that a local university, or organization, may be able to provide with a more reasonable cost and at least an equivalent value.  A recent example would be the day long series of workshops provided by New Jersey Future on Redevelopment in all its aspects.  It may have provided CE credits but I didn't notice, because I was going because it was of interest to me and offered sessions on subjects I wanted to learn more about.   I did not need to be told I must go to this daylong session...I wanted to go.  And based on the number of planners present, from the government units, and private consulting firms, many others felt the same way.

I would urge you to read and re-read the thoughtful letter from Leo Vasquez of the Bloustein School at Rutgers University, who is not afraid of the idea of evaluating the current knowledge of planners, and has suggested a rational way of doing that evaluation, be aware that his opinion probably represents that of many thoughtful planners around the United States..

I would like to say that I would like to meet you at the APA meeting in Philadelphia, but I will not be attending because of the cost.  I have been a member of APA for many years and a member of AICP for over twenty years.  Now partially retired from a position directing a regional nonprofit with multiple roles developing housing, undertaking community development, assisting the City of Newark in the development of neighborhood plans, and providing technical assistance to many other groups, I am doing part-time consulting, and cannot justify the the significant price tag of the Philadelphia events.

I am sending this by the end of the day of March 21st, and hope it can provide some additional insights to you in your deliberations.

Carla L. Lerman PP/AICP

Rob Lebeau

Thanks for the reminder. I will be sure to voice my full support of this long overdue certification maintenance proposal.

Rick Kuner, ACIP

Good day,

I am opposed to the required Certification Maintenance Program.

Lifelong learning is important for any professional. There are a variety of ways to learn. As a consultant who has worked in more than 70 communities in 23 states, I learn something from every project that I work on. Professor Don Schon's notion of “the Reflective Practitioner” works for me. I am highly motivated to learn more about subjects I will use in my work and do a lot of professional and technical reading. I acquire new skills because I need them to be a better planner and a better person.

As an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program in Public Administration at the Illinois Institute of Technology, I learn a great deal from my students because of the different viewpoints they bring. Adopting a policy that has the impact of forcing more planners to spend the time and money to attend conferences is not beneficial. There are better ways to stay up to date.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Rick Kuner, AICP,President, New Alternatives, Inc.

Lane Kendig

My name is Lane Kendig. I am president of Kendig Keast Collaborative. I would like to go on record as being opposed to the proposed training program. Not because I do not believe in training of planners on a regular basis. However, the proposal is too demanding of time. As a consultant, we cannot afford to pay for this sort of regime. As a former county planning director I know the public sector will not be able to pay for young planners who most need the education and have the least salary to afford it.

Attorneys, landscape architects, and architects are less demanding in the amount of credits per year. Also I understand that AICP and APA are difficult to deal with on accrediting other agencies that may offer equal quality education. I have frequently been involved with others and you may become liable if you are too restrictive.

I urge you to start slowly with about 1/3 the time proposed and see how that works. That would be far easier on the people you most want to have as members. It also would encourage firms and agencies to support the program. I strongly urge you to drop the requirement that APA and AICP courses are mandated for a portion of the education. There are both educational institutions and private firms that will fight that provision.

 Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Lane Kendig

 

William Mayland, AICP

I do not have a problem with training if and only if it is available for little cost without traveling requiring an overnight stay.
There are a lot of meetings  I attend that should qualify but are not APA sponcered. If it must be an APA event or it is difficult to
get APA to accept it as training this will be a big problem since they do  not offer training in the area. 

William Mayland, AICP
Assistant Director, Department of Development 

James Peters, AICP

STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO AICP CONTINUING EDUCATION PROPOSAL

I am opposing the current AICP proposal for required continuing education credits for a number of reasons:

I am not opposed to the concept of continuing education for planners. But I think this proposal is misguided, unnecessary, self-servicing, and antagonistic to the very people which are supposed to be serving: Professional planners. Please, think before you act. We’re planners….not professional fund-raisers.

Jim Peters, AICP member since 1985

Current AICP-appointed member, Planning Accreditation Board

Host Committee, APA National Planning Conferences, 1993 and 2002

Former editor, AICP Planners Casebook

Former news editor, Planning magazine

James E. Peters, AICP, Director of Planning, Landmarks Illinois

Tom Salkowski,AICP
I am a charter member of APA and AICP and have been a practicing planner at Counties in Minnesota for almost 30 years. While I
acknowledge the need to clarify the professional credentials of planners, and perhaps to put more meaning into the AICP label, I do not
approve of the proposed maintenance program. It seems to be geared primarily to planners working in large metropolitan areas where
APA-approved education will be available, and will undoubtedly weed out many planners in exurban and rural areas where
salaries are low and the AICP label is not recognized by anyone anyway. I truly believe that you are going to do much more
harm than good, and perhaps end up with an organization limited to academics and big city planners. If that is the intent,
good luck to you, because I won't need you anymore. I have hired numerous planners over the years, most have worked
out very well based on the criteria we use for hiring, and few, if any have been AICP certified, that I recall. 

There is little doubt that an old dog like me could learn new tricks, and that the AICP label could be more meaningful. However, APA does not
have the ability to offer credible, practical and useful seminars and continuing education to the widespread and diverse members of AICP in
the same manner that it can be offered by and for lawyers, accountants, etc. While I am proud of my AICP label, I do not pretend that it is the
same as having passed the bar exam, or entitles me to anything other than proof of an interest in promoting my profession. Perhaps it is a
"chicken and egg" type of problem, in that better recognition of AICP needs more stringent requirements, but I sincerely doubt that you are
going to convince many of us who have been in the trenches for decades that we really need AICP behind our names that badly. 

Perhaps you want to take a clue from union settlements, and apply the new standards gradually to those now entering the profession. If we
older farts can be "grandfathered in", I, for one, would be proud to be known as a "nonconforming planner". There is some arrogance involved,
for sure, but I find it difficult to believe that attendance at mandatory seminars for the sake of certification maintenance is going to
make me a better planner than a Master's degree and the thirty years of experience that I already have. I find that my learning ability is much
better at events that I choose to attend rather than those that I must attend.

Tom Salkowski, AICP

Jack Stokvis, AICP

Dear AICP:

If the “Certification maintenance” proposal is enacted by AICP, I shall immediately cancel my membership in both APA and AICP as it will simply raise membership costs, give members nothing in return, and would be disastrous for APA and AICP. Furthermore, until I received an email today from Daniel Lauber on this matter, I knew absolutely nothing about the proposal. IMHO, that proves that AICP/APA is isolated from its membership, not politically astute, and is financially reckless.

I sincerely hope that you will reconsider and reject this ill-considered idea.

Sincerely,
Jack R. Stokvis, AICP, PP (Former Assistant Secretary for Community PLANNING and Development, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC)

Table of Comments
Letters in PDF files will open in a new tab or window.
Dave Abrams
Roger Bardsley
Alec Bash
Jim Boerke
Jim Butler
Sam Casella
Jennifer Coile
Gloria Cousar
Cynthia Eliason
Pete Erlenbach
Ann Fathy

Frederick Goodrich
Froda Greenberg

Randall Johnson
Allison Kendall
Rick Kuner
Daniel Lauber (PDF file)
Carla Lerman

Rob LeBeau
Lane Kendig
William Mayland

Stuart Meck
(PDF file)
New Jersey APA Chapter (PDF file)
Anthony Palermo
James Peters
Tom Salkowski
Jack Stokvis
Marc Weiss

Marc Weiss, AICP

Dear AICP Commission members:

I am unalterably opposed to the imposition of mandatory continuing education requirements for AICP.

I have been an AICP member since 1982 and, because of that, a member of both APA and the Virginia Chapter of APA. I currently work as an Economic Developer and am certified as a CEcD by the International Economic Development Council. My CEcD designation requires recertification; however the requirement is 12 points in a three-year period and the ability to earn recertification points is much broader than that proposed by AICP. I can also tell you that the CEcD certification process is far more rigorous than the AICP process, including an essay exam, multiple choice exam, and an oral interview.

I am sure that my employer will not fund continuing education for two organizations and I can assure you that I cannot take time away from my job for 40 hours of continuing education every two years.  In addition, I believe that this requirement will substantially raise AICP dues and frankly will be used as a profit center for APA, with little educational value to the individual AICP member. I am not convinced that mandatory continuing education improves the professionalism of planning nor do I believe that it is an effective way to encourage members to keep current in the field. I would most likely be forced to end my AICP membership if these requirements are imposed and I would, therefore, no longer have any reason to continue my APA membership. I suggest the Commission reach out to members and structure an effective, non-mandatory continuing education program, which addresses the specific needs and professional interests of each member. Thank you for your consideration.

Marc Weiss, Director, Hanover County Economic Development, Mechanicsville, VA