Conference Program Spotlight: So you want to be a Planning Director?

The APA Virginia Chapter is excited to announce a “deep dive” three (3) part workshop into the realm of planning management and local government administration. This series of break out session offers practicing professionals an opportunity to advance their careers, gain new skills, and share experiences for best practices in planning management. This session is open to professionals at all levels, but may be most useful for senior, manager and director level positions.

Conference attendee’s may choose to attend any combination of or all of the course sessions. Each session is approximately 60-minutes and will be held Monday (July 17) in the afternoon. CM credits may be available.

Part 1: Leadership and the role of the Planning Director

This session will provide a discussion on leadership and the role of the Planning Director. Topics will include understanding the difference between leading and managing and understanding the role of the Planning Director on the Leadership team of the local government. Other topics include communication with internal and external customers, ethical concerns in the planning environment and a discussion on board relations.

Part 2: The Planning Department: Functions, Roles and Responsibilities

This session will provide an overview of the functions, roles and responsibilities of the Planning Department. The budget discussion will review the key revenues, fees, and expenditures featured in a planning department. The CIP will review a typical CIP process including Planning Commission approval, projects, revenues, and expenses. Sample performance measurements from Virginia localities will be presented for consideration. A discussion about planning department staff, classification and compensation and human resources will cap the session.

Part 3: Civic Engagement

This session will provide an overview of unique ways planning departments and local governments have engaged their citizenry. A panel of local government managers and planning directors will discuss how they approach citizen engagement, lessons learned and best practices.


Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Dean Davis is the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management and the Graduate Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Financial Management with the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. Prior to her position with Virginia Tech she served as Vice President for Springsted, Inc. and worked with local governments in VA and NC. In addition, she has served in local government for over 18 years as the Finance Director for Powhatan, VA, and Budget and Management Analyst for Chesterfield, VA.

John A. Budesky

John A. Budesky currently serves as County Administrator for Goochland County. John has been a local government administrator for over 20 years. Most recently John served as Deputy County Administrator for Hanover County, Virginia and prior to that role he served as the City Manager for the City of Manassas. He also was appointed as the Executive Director of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission during two separate Governor Administrations.

Prior to serving the Commonwealth, he was the County Administrator for New Kent County, Virginia, Assistant City Administrator in the City of Hagerstown, Maryland, and a Department Head within Washington County government, in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has also operated a private consulting company specializing in strategic planning, team building, and community relations.

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