Decatur Next

Decatur Diary | February 15, 2010

We’ll Plan and Implement.
That’s a Promise.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “a deficit of trust” in American civic life. But not in our city. Why is that?

Part of the reason may be that, over the past 30 years, under successive City administrations, Decatur elected officials and City staff have worked with residents to plan together for the future. Then, they’ve consistently used those plans as marching orders.

“Here in Decatur, we have a plan, and we actually make it work,” says City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham.

The results are all around us and play a big part in the high level of satisfaction reported by residents. The latest of those satisfaction surveys suggest an astounding 97 percent of respondents see Decatur as a good or excellent place to live. And 81 percent rate opportunities to participate in community affairs as good or excellent. You can see the survey results threaded through the General Fund Expenditure Estimate for FY 2008-2009.

Now, we’re launching a process to update our 10-year Strategic Plan. And since we measure results against community goals, it’s crucial we decide together the goals for the next decade and how we’ll accomplish them. All five of Decatur’s City Commissioners are committed to the process and to implementing strategies in line with community goals.

Mayor Bill Floyd
District 1 Commissioner

“The Strategic Planning process in Decatur has always been one of the more interesting times in the city .. The whole point is to get everybody involved. (The process and the results) are only successful if most people in the community buy into it.”

Jim Baskett
Mayor Pro Tem
At-Large Commissioner

“I often talk about process being more important than outcomes .. Outcomes are very important, but if you do the process right, the outcomes take care of themselves.”

Fred Boykin
District 1 Commissioner

“I really encourage the local community to get involved in (this strategic planning initiative).” Among the questions he wants answered: “Why do people move here? And does the reality match their expectations?”

Kecia Cunningham
District 2 Commissioner

The last Strategic Plan “made such a huge difference in my ability to feel like I knew what citizens wanted. It’s time to have those conversations again to figure out who we want to be, where we want to be, and what we want our community to look like.”

Patti Garrett
District 2 Commissioner

“Every citizen can have input .. Our voices together have a much stronger impact than just one voice by itself. What do you want our community to look like in ten years? .. Where do we want to go from here?”

It’s Up to You.

Want to get involved? Register to participate in our Round Table discussions. And watch these Web pages for more details.

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