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Decatur Diary | November 17, 2015

Better Together Public Review and Comment Period Begins Today

Decatur’s 2010 Strategic Plan set the intention — that city residents value diversity in all its forms — but it wasn’t until the past several months that that intention was put to the test in the form of the Better Together conversation, a community process working its way towards a formal Community Action Plan.

The apparent result? The community’s commitment remains intact. Putting things in perspective, outside of the Strategic Planning process itself, Better Together has been the city’s largest public participation exercise in 15 years. Hundreds of residents representing myriad facets of the community have come to the table, completed community surveys, and engaged in face-to-face conversation to develop a list of steps — action items — that the city, nonprofit partners, and even individuals can take forward to help preserve and foster diversity of all kinds.

Generated during August’s community-wide gathering and prioritized during last week’s review meeting, the resulting 71 action items — the principal component of the coming plan — were presented last night to the city commission during their work session, kicking off a two week public review and comment period that begins today. The items are organized across six focus areas and broken out according to whether they’re appropriate to individuals, organizations, or city government.

Now comes your turn. Start here (.pdf) with the full list of proposed action items, including those highlighted as top priorities. Then, click on over to Open City Hall where you’ll find a number of questions and opportunities to share your own take.

Please note that hardcopy materials are also available for review and comment by anyone not connected to the internet. The city is promoting this option via targeted outreach to the Decatur Housing Authority, neighborhood associations, religious organizations, senior groups, and others, and beyond these efforts, in the spirit of what Better Together is all about, residents reading here are further encouraged to share the availability of in-person review with neighbors and friends unable to participate online.

Action steps and comment forms will be available after November 18 at City Hall, the Decatur Rec, Ebster Recreation Center, and the Decatur Public Library.

Commenting via hardcopy or Open City Hall will remain open until Monday, November 30.

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