Saturday, January 30, 2010
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Mayor hosts economic summit, round 2

Part 6: Mayor outlines future summits

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[January 30, 2010]  Mayor Keith Snyder said at the close of the summit last Saturday that the group had dealt with some "brutal facts," not the least of them being the fact that there is no stated vision for Lincoln and Logan County.

InsuranceSnyder said that Keith Ray, Dolan Dalpoas and he had met for lunch to discuss how they would conduct the second round of the summit, and Ray posed a question: "OK, Mr. Mayor, what is your vision for Lincoln?"

Snyder said he was prepared to answer with the revitalization of the former Lincoln Developmental Center campus, a beautified downtown, a new north-end industrial park and more.

"I was ready to spew all those out, but then in a split second I thought, ‘Wait a minute. That's not a vision, that's a project list.' And, it stopped me," he said.

"My confession is that I don't have a vision that I can give to you in the last 10 minutes as you walk out of here that is engaging, crystallizing or motivating."

Snyder continued, "I haven't done that, and I don't know that I can do that, but I do know who can: We can."

Snyder said that needed to be the next big task for the summit group: to work on an engaging vision statement for the city and county.

He outlined the steps he believes will bring the group to writing that vision statement

Step one is to establish regular meetings on a quarterly basis. Each meeting will have a specific agenda that will lead into the writing of the vision statements by the end of 2010, leaving the group ready to start drafting their strategic plan in the following year.

For the spring, he wants collective work similar to the meeting last fall: talking about weaknesses and threats. These were on the "to-do list" at the fall meeting, but time didn't allow the group to get through it.

At the end of the spring meeting, he wants members to accept assignments to visit other communities. He cautioned that there was no funding to assist with this, so he needs them to volunteer, to go out and look at other cities, talk to their officials and see what those towns are doing that is benefiting the community as a whole.

In the summer he hopes to hear from those who journeyed out: what they learned, what they saw that they liked and didn't like.


In the fall, Snyder said that the county's economic master plan is slated to be completed, and he wants the summit group to meet with those consultants for what he called a "debriefing": learning what they learned and hearing the recommendations they might have.

And finally, at the next winter meeting, Snyder said that the group should be ready to start writing their vision for Lincoln and Logan County, which, as Dalpoas had taught earlier, was the first step to a strategic plan.

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Before calling the meeting adjourned, Snyder offered a few assignments for the group between now and the spring meeting.

He asked that they be looking at what communities the visitors should go to.

He also said that at the spring meeting he thought the group should create a sort of score card that could be used to more or less grade or rate these communities.

He asked that the group be thinking about specific questions that can go on that score card so that there are uniform measures for each town visited.

Summit aftermath and interesting facts

At the first summit meeting about 20 to 25 people attended. At the second meeting the head count was 30 to 35. The group is growing.

In addition to that, the mayor recounted after the meeting that there were at least a half-dozen people who would have been there from the first meeting, had they not had scheduling conflicts.

At the Tuesday night city council meeting, the mayor spoke about the sheets of paper he had handed out at the beginning of the summit, saying that he had received literally hundreds of names, and he will be contacting people and inviting them to the spring session.

On Thursday Snyder sent out an e-mail to all attendees he had e-mail addresses for, giving them links to articles that Ray had referred to and sending out copies of Dalpoas' PowerPoint presentation.

In the same e-mail, he shared that he had heard from county board member Jan Schumacher, as she had suggestions for other books that members of the group could read on their own to help them become better enlightened.

In his e-mail the mayor wrote: "Let's keep this ember we have ignited lit and fan it into a flame that will warm and revitalize this place we call home."


Mayor's letter posted today in LDN:

Thank you, summiteers! Learn more on planning for the future


Previous articles in series:
Mayor hosts economic summit, round 2

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