Depending on how its approached, developing a strategy plan can be a grueling exercise in predicting the unknown, a tedious bore to satisfy a legal mandate or anything in between.
Elizabethtown city government has chosen a different approach for its required update of the city’s comprehensive plan. It’s being pitched as a true community plan and the process begins today with what city leaders hope is an enthusiastic turnout for the initial workshop.
The city’s even marketing it with a snazzy name: Envision Elizabethtown with its own website, www.envisionetown.org, which offers a timeline and the opportunity to receive email updates.
It’s obvious Mayor Jeff Gregory and the staff at City Hall want this process to be more than routine. Gregory made a strong plea for participation at Monday’s council meeting.
“This is a great way for the public to get involved, to get out and voice their opinion on the direction they want to see the city go,” he said. “We hope to see everybody there and the goal is for everybody to bring five people with them.”
The public workshop is from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Pritchard Community Center. It will use an open house format, allowing participants to show up at any point and stay as long as they like.
The city also plans an online survey to capture ideas and feedback from residents unable to attend.
This level of community engagement rarely is seen in comprehensive plans. The city hired consultants to help stimulate the process and has a committee of 14 beginning the effort to cast a vision for 2040 and beyond.
This document is expected to extend beyond land use planning. Elizabethtown’s approach to this update is refreshing. Hopefully, the community will respond to the challenge.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.