American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

Message from our President – December 2018

Kenneth Bowers, AICP

Chapter President

This is my last message as President of APA-NC. It has been a fun and productive two years. We hosted two great conferences, crafted and adopted a new mission statement and 4 year plan for the Chapter, formed a new committee dedicated to finding solutions to the affordable housing shortage, promoted education and dialog on the themes of resiliency and equity, made significant headway on reinvigorating our legislative program, and closed the period with substantially increased membership. The need for planning in North Carolina has never been greater, and neither have the benefits of APA-NC membership. None of this would have been possible without the efforts of our member volunteers, our conference sponsors, and our chapter officers. I want to thank of all you for your service to the state and to APA-NC. 

Our President-elect Ben Howell will take over the reigns as President in January. For the next two years, he will lead the Executive Committee and represent the Chapter at the national leadership meetings. I have worked with Ben on the Executive Committee for a number of years and know him as a passionate and organized leader who will continue to build on our momentum. I will be working closely with him for the next year as Past President to ensure a smooth transition. 

My other key role in the coming year is to lead a nominating committee in identifying a slate of candidates to run in the 2019 election for Chapter Officers. These offices are President Elect, Vice President for Chapter Development, Vice President for Professional Development, Treasurer, and Secretary. If you are interested in throwing your hat into the ring for a leadership role in the Chapter, it is not to early to start thinking about it.  It is no small amount of work, but there is no better way to give back to the Chapter, you’ll be part of a great team of planners, and the work is very fulfilling. Feel free to contact me regarding your interest and to get answers to any questions you may have. 

Next, I want to address some outstanding business related to the North Carolina Planning Conference, held this past September in Winston-Salem. Many of you who registered but were unable to attend the conference due to hurricane Florence have been waiting to learn how the chapter proposes to address the issue of equity with regards to registration fees. Although a preliminary decision was made by the Executive Committee in early October, we needed to work with APA national on the logistics to make sure we could implement our intent. Now that we have that guidance, we are ready to communicate our decision to the affected members. 

Our final accounting of attendance shows that 103 members registered for the conference but did not attend. We are assuming that all of these members had to cancel their attendance due to the hurricane. Recognizing the training budgets for many governments, firms, and organizations are already allocated for the year, we have decided to address the weather impact by discounting the registration for next year’s conference by 50 percent for these individuals. We estimate the cost of this discount to next year’s budget to be approximately $28,000. Further, we had members who may or may not have attended, but who registered for a mobile session that was cancelled. We will be refunding these additional fees to all registrants via a check in this fiscal year. We cost of these refunds will be relatively modest and will be paid out of this year’s budget. 

What are the logistics of how this will work? If you registered for a mobile workshop or event that was cancelled, you don’t have to do anything. A check will be mailed to the person or entity that is on record as having paid the original registration fee. If you are eligible for the discount on next year’s conference, we will need to complete your registration manually, which can be done by emailing completed forms to Chapter Treasurer Roger Bardsley. More details will be communicated when registration opens next year. 

In addition, the Executive Committee continues to work with APA to correct the CM log and schedule ethics and legal sessions. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my service as Chapter President and look forward to continuation to serve this coming year as Past President. Thank you for your continued membership, your involvement in the Chapter and APA, and all that you do for the profession and the communities of North Carolina. I wish you all a happy and productive 2019.