Farmington Visioning Meeting ‘Great Start’ – 2013
By Susan Steinmueller, Staff Writer, – Farmington Observer – February 21, 2013
Those who gathered for a Farmington visioning session Monday had a chance to say what they value about the community as well as what they’d like to enhance in the future.
Judging by their input, community and the historic Warner Mansion were at the top of a list of “treasures” in the city.
Some other best-liked things about Farmington, shown in an illustrated “word cloud” at the end of the session, were: safety, diversity, government, downtown walkability, public service, business loyalty and the city being unique.
“I think we have many treasures, and I think our people are among them,” said Mayor Tom Buck later, saying he was “very pleased” with the turnout.
Some 84 people attended the kick-off visioning session, held in the cafeteria of Farmington High School.
Buck added, “I would hope that the whole community knows that they’re invited to be a part of the process and participate in upcoming meetings.”
‘A great start’
Consultant Charlie Fleetham of Project Innovations, said he was pleased that about half of the participants — 43 — signed up to be on committees.
“I think we had a great start,” he said. Fleetham said he’s working on getting younger people involved, too, something that was mentioned as needed at Monday’s meeting.
The next meeting date hasn’t been set but is expected to take place at the beginning of March.
Fleetham and Aaron Domini of OHM Advisors led the session.
City Manager Vince Pastue told the audience that the world has changed since the last time a visioning plan was done in 1998 and a new plan is needed.
Domini said the six-month visioning project would start with listening to community members.
“We’re the experts on design,” said Domini. “You’re the experts on Farmington.”
Their input will help OHM craft the blueprint for the future, he said.
Participants at tables discussed various topics including public spaces, reputation, community services, housing and mobility. Council members sat in at each table and listened.
Participants could also sign up to be core project members, who will be involved in all meetings; flex members, who will go to meetings on topics they’re interested in; and observers, who will be kept up to date.
Core members signing up included Mary Bush, a Realtor, who said “I was born and raised in the area. I’ve been in Farmington now for 25 years. I’m deeply committed to the future of Farmington. It’s just a wonderful place to live.”
The session concluded with someone from each table telling others about ideas discussed.
Those ranged from Farmington-branded clothing to examining the role of retail downtown versus marketing more to entertainment and a younger generation.
Frank Wildasin, who attended with his wife, Joyce, said he thought it was a good meeting.
“I think for something that’s just getting started, it sounded pretty good to me,” he said. “My wife and I just came to see what was going on. We’ve lived here for 40 years.”
He said he plans to stay in Farmington and enjoyed discussing the topic of biking at his table as he enjoys biking.
For more information go to the city website: http://ci.farmington.mi.us/Services/EconomicAndCommunityDevelopment/FarmingtonVisionPlan/index.html
Or go to the Farmington Vision Plan project page on Facebook.
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