Decatur Next

Decatur Diary | December 7, 2010

Principles and Goals: Now’s Your Chance to Review and Edit

Decatur’s march towards a new, ten year strategic plan took an admittedly slow and methodical step forward Saturday, December 4th, during our Open House at Agnes Scott. Over the course of three hours, city residents dropped by to review a rough draft of the plan’s Principles and Goals.

One of many residents who contributed to the Strategic Plan's evolving Principles and Goals.

Response was quite positive and productive, as stickers indicating agreement or disagreement were placed on large displays and Post-It notes riddled with edits were affixed next to specific items. All will be compiled and factored into the evolving draft.

Also apparent during the day were some misunderstandings about what, exactly, was being reviewed and what wasn’t. Enough so that a little more clarification here would be in order.

As you likely know, Decatur residents have, in a variety of forums, been providing input and ideas towards the new plan since last April. Now that the idea generation and drill-down phases are complete, it’s time to distill all that information into categories and action steps. The framework being utilized has three levels: Principles, Goals, and Projects.

Principles are broad categories under which multiple diverse goals can be logically placed. In our 2000 plan, we had three. This time around we’ve got four, though you’ll note many similarities with our last plan. That’s because, as a city, our principles have evolved but they have not changed dramatically.

Under Principles are Goals. These can be thought of as “Where We Want to Get To,” describing the more specific realities we want to bring about.

Below Goals will be Projects, which serve the “How We’re Going to Get There” function. Projects are the most detailed level of the plan and describe very specific recommendations for how the city will spend its money over the next ten years. This is the true meat of the plan, however it’s unwise to speculate on any overall project list until Principles and Goals are firmly in place. That’s why Principles and Goals were the sole focus of December’s Open House.

For those who were frustrated, feeling that the items presented lacked specificity, fear not. The level of specificity you’re looking for — where the rubber meets the road, so to speak — will be coming after the new year with another event built around the draft Project List.

In the meantime, here is the current draft of our Principles and Goals, presented for further community edits. Please review them and leave your comments below — either general comments or specific edits tied to a particular Principle or Goal.

Principle A: Manage growth while retaining character.

Accommodate commercial and residential growth while retaining a small town character within an urban environment.

Goal 1 Retain and enhance the character of existing commercial districts.

Goal 2 Encourage a diversity of business types with particular focus on small businesses and businesses that provide daily needs.

Goal 3 Protect existing neighborhoods while promoting growth in desired areas and adopting standards that guide future growth.

Goal 4 Protect and encourage the reuse of historic buildings, structures, and places.

Principle B: Encourage a diverse and engaged community.

Protect and expand diversity among Decatur residents, businesses, and visitors while promoting an innovative, engaged, and informed community.

Goal 5 Maintain and encourage diversity of race, ethnicity, income, culture, age, family type, and other kinds of diversity.

Goal 6 Strengthen communication and involvement in and among neighborhoods, city government, institutions, community organizations, and Decatur as a whole.

Goal 7 Support and expand programs, services, events, and opportunities that respond to diverse interests, encourage community interaction, and promote a stronger sense of community.

Goal 8 Promote a culture of creative innovation and expression.

Principle C: Serve as good stewards of all community resources.

Practice fiscal, environmental, and organizational stewardship to make efficient use of finite resources through collaboration and conservation.

Goal 9 Expand and diversify the city’s property tax base.

Goal 10 Continue to provide quality services within fiscal limits acceptable to the community.

Goal 11 Assure the efficient use of all community facilities by strengthening public-private partnerships throughout the city.

Goal 12 Foster environmental sustainability in all aspects of city life and government practice.

Principle D: Create a healthy, lifelong community.

Assure that housing, mobility, and support services exist to provide everyone at every age a high quality of life.

Goal 13 Enhance mobility options within and to Decatur.

Goal 14 Expand the variety of high quality housing options to meet the needs of a diverse community.

Goal 15 Provide programs and services that support and enhance a safe, healthy, and active lifestyle.

That’s it. Scroll down to comment. Then see you in the new year!

Translate »