NORTH CREEK The town of Johnsburg Planning Board recently became the first, and currently the only, town planning board in Warren County to achieve training certification of all board members. This achievement represents a significant milestone for the board as a culmination of over a years worth of effort, while providing a benefit to all town residents. To achieve certification, each of the seven board members were required to pass a series of comprehensive state administered tests. While the Johnsburg board initiated the training process some time ago, the certification now satisfies a recent state-mandated annual training requirement. Each test module focuses on a specific aspect of a planning boards official role. Topics include Land Use, Advanced Land Use, Environmental Review, Comprehensive Plans, and Subdivision planning. Former board member Ron Vanselow is credited with identifying the opportunity, before his joining the Johnsburg Town Board. Ron originally came across it in the New York Planning Federation newsletter, Planning Board Chairperson Dottie Osterhout said. At the time it was a relatively new program, and we decided to pursue it. The training packets were very informative, especially for new members, Osterhout said. It was a great way to learn the information that is so important to what we do. We believed in it so much that we asked the Town Board to make certification a requirement for all new Planning Board members. While the boards efforts satisfy some self-imposed and state mandated requirements, it also carries a direct benefit to the town. The benefit to the town is you now have a much more educated and informed board making informed decisions, concludes Osterhout. While we learned about many issues we will probably never face in Johnsburg, we all came away from it better prepared to fulfill our duties.