Outgoing President - Luke Muller's message
2019 SDPA Conference will be held in Brookings, SD. More info to follow as it develops.
2018 Conference Info can be found under Conferences.
Just a reminder that we now only renew memberships every 2 years, if you are due you should get an email. If you are NEW just fill this form out and send in payment!
This will be my last column for the front of the webpage as officially I gave up the seat of President of your association on the last day of 2018. As is appropriate at the end of a year or end of term such as this I’ll try to put the last seven years into context and update membership on a few items left open at last year’s conference. (Strap in, this is gonna be long.)
It’s been instilled in me that we are an organization of professional and lay-planners intended to narrow the gap in experience and education between the “lay-planner” and professional planner. Though we’ve been involved in legislative and judicial issues that impact planning in the state over the past several decades, the primary role of the Board has been to operate one conference per year and provide an opportunity for dialogue (and sometimes commiserate) with a pool of peers that may have run into a solution to the problem you are facing right now.
At the business meeting of the 2018 conference it became clear that the entire body of the organization wants to see SDPA provide more opportunity for education of our state’s planners. (The minutes of that meeting are available on this site.) A new approach that is aimed to reach folks we work with in our towns and counties that have been unable to take advantage of the annual conference. Plans are being finalized to hold a half day session at the annual South Dakota Association of Counties Workshop in Pierre on March 13 or 14 (exact date and time to be finalized this month). That session will focus on topics similar to those discussed at the 2018 conference such as why to plan, how to plan, and how to administer the plan. The intent is then to follow up with a similar training with South Dakota Municipal League at one of their annual events this year as well. At next year’s conference we will discuss the success and shortcomings of that method to determine whether we need to repeat it or modify it to reach more folks that would like the training.
The second new approach to offering education is in the form of scholarships/grants to individuals seeking to attend classes, national conferences, or obtain AICP certification. We are able to do this thanks to previous Boards of this association and the work (primarily of Amber and Jayna) to host two Western Planner Conferences in the last ten years which allows our organization is able to operate from a financially comfortable position. Contact any of this year’s Board members for more information on those opportunities.
The SDPA will again hold its annual conference this year the week of October 14th in Brookings. I know Staci, Mike, Bob, Richard, and Jamie are working to show off some unique planning items their area has to offer; and I look forward to seeing what sessions are planned as well.
One last exclamation point on last year’s session is a thank you to those that came to speak at our conference. Speakers this year were primarily from this state and, I think, did a fantastic job of providing relevant and helpful presentations. This is my public thank you to all of our speakers. A special thanks goes to Ralph Borkowski for warning us that 2018 was our last chance to hold a conference in Huron while he is still planner. He did a fantastic job coordinating the conference and speaking. Hopefully we can pry him away from his life outside planning to come to our conference(s) in the future.
As for me, I’ll still be in Watertown (hopefully) dispensing planning truth, knowledge, and wisdom in between parenthetical statements (I can’t help myself). As I sign off, Toby Brown (Lincoln County) is now your association President, David Heinold (Minnehaha County) remains your Vice-President, and Brandi Hanten (City of Watertown) is your new Secretary/Treasurer.
First District Association of Local Governments
Phone (605) 882-5115
Fax (605) 882-5049