Community input is the first step

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 4, 2007

LINDEN &8212; A series of eight community listening sessions and a town hall meeting were held yesterday to foster community involvement and input into the Grow Linden strategic plan process.

The city received a grant from the University of West Alabama earlier this year, after producing the Grow Linden proposal, for the maximum $20,000 provided for professional development services. As one of the first processes in establishing a strategic plan, several cross sections of the population of the town, including such groups as youth, businesses, civic organizations, parks and recreation and others, were invited to give input into what they see as important for the future of the city,

UWA&8217;s Ken Tucker, the director of the Regional Center for Community and Economic Development and Kenneth Walker, the director of the Small Business Development Center Center for Business and Economic Services, lead the group discussions along with Mary Randolph, the executive director of the Wyoming Rural Development Council. Randolph said the group used an assessment process that allowed concerned individuals to come in and speak to specific issues, with which they are interested.

Email newsletter signup

Randolph said normally strategic planning is done through a group of handpicked individuals provided by local leaders. In the process used in Linden, however, the meetings are open to everyone, and reports from the group findings are sent to participants after everything is compiled.

Walker said once a plan is compiled and put into action it will allow Linden to move forward in a focused direction. He said the benefits of a strategic plans will also be felt by the community as it allows more grant opportunities to come to the area.