Valparaiso begins process of mapping its future
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent September 22, 2013 11:17PM
Updated: October 24, 2013 6:26AM
VALPARAISO — The future of the city began in a meeting last week with more than 40 people gathering at City Hall for the start of a master plan for the next 20 years.
Invitees at Thursday’s steering committee meeting, included representatives from Valparaiso University, local businesses, social services, the Valparaiso High School Class of 2015 and city government.
Representatives of ACP Visioning + Planning laid out the process for the steering committee to get others involved in the two-year process covering the city’s future in social, economic and other areas.
The plan has been the focal point of Mayor Jon Costas’s third term. ACP mapped out what would happen over the next two years. The Board of Works approved the two-year, $200,000 contract with ACP on June 14.
“This is not a strategic plan. This is about long term envisioning,” Costas told those gathered. “We want this to touch every aspect of the city.”
Future administrations will look at it in considering schools, parks and other aspects of the city.
Costas said his administration has planned what it wants to accomplish in the next three years, but goals aren’t as obvious as they were nine years ago.
Planning helps get federal and state grants and achieve goals, he said.
Jamie Greene of ACP quoted Will Rogers, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Greene told the steering committee its job is to find ways to engage people and get them to public meetings, targeting and reaching groups.
The initial steps will include choosing a name to “brand” the process, such as “One City, One Vision” that another of his clients used.
For those interested in participating and having their ideas heard, ACP also will have a website for input.
Greene didn’t set a date for the website to go online.
He scheduled the next steering committee meeting for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21.