West Des Moines' innovative outreach, Connect-2-Create, using social media and local events to develop a comprehensive plan for the city, is well underway, and the suggestions are coming in, a city coordinator told West Des Moines Guide.
A recent Connect-2-Create event was organized during the West Des Moines Fire Department's pancake breakfast, West Des Moines Development Services coordinator Linda Schemmel said.
"We were very pleased with the turnout at the pancake breakfast," Schemmel said. "We had four staff members at the booth and mingling in the crowd, all kept busy during the entire event answering questions and sharing information on the plan."
Another Connect-2-Create event was during West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce's membership luncheon when City Manager Tom Hadden and City Planner Lynne Twedt provided an update on the Comprehensive Plan.
Other Connect-2-Create events are scheduled during the Valley Junction Pumpkin Walk Sunday, Oct. 28, and Golf in the Halls at Valley High School, Nov. 17.
"We found our conversations were a good mix of general questions about the comprehensive plan and specific suggestions on what people would like to see in the city or what was important to them," Schemmel said.
Connect-2-Create has included collaborations with West Des Moines schools and the city on various initiatives.
Ensuring everyone has a voice
Schemmel said the broad outreach ensures everyone has a voice. She outlined why it is important to hear from as many stakeholders as possible.
"The comprehensive plan is our 20-year vision for the future and shares the vision of the city's Strategic Action Plan," Schemmel said. "The community is inclusive, healthy, engaged and safe. Residents, visitors and businesses thrive within the city's strong natural, economic and learning environments.
"As we plan for the future, the city will be faced with tough choices regarding issues such as housing, transportation, land use and quality of life. Our goal is to make the comprehensive plan a guiding document to help with those tough choices," he added.
For its part, Connect-2-Create has posted questions and activities to encourage input for the comprehensive plan. Schemmel ticked off a list of areas where the city is seeking ideas, including economic development, schools, parks, public services, housing and transportation. The underpinning is "quality of life, community character, connection and engagement," she said.
"With that in mind, we are inviting everyone who lives, works, plays or visits West Des Moines to connect with us on social media and our website," she said.
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