Countywide strategic planning meeting to gather public input

First printed in the Lincoln Sentinel in September, 2014

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, the Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation (LCEDF) will be hosting a Countywide Strategic Planning Session, from 6-9pm, at the Lincoln High School commons area to gather information, ideas, and feedback from the citizens on how best to improve our county.

I can’t stress this enough but this is a very important meeting. Very. Important. Meeting. This will be the best opportunity for people from across the county to come together to have a direct say, and a direct impact, on determining our top priorities for the next several years.

As I have been working my way around the county meeting people, I have heard a lot of thoughts and opinions, both positive and negative, on a whole variety of subjects. In all these conversations, I have been very encouraged to realize that nobody, or no group, is really working against anybody else. For the most part people support each other, albeit sometimes from afar, and share the same common values and concerns for the future. But having said that, I haven’t necessarily heard that people are working together either. It seems people work within their own small groups and rarely reach out to combine efforts.

This isn’t a problem except that we all have limited budgets, limited time, and limited resources which often results in limited impacts. Often times there is one group with a little bit of money but no volunteers so their money spent doesn’t get very far. Another group may have volunteers but no money so their time doesn’t get very far. But if both groups partnered together on one specific priority, both the money and volunteers would have a magnified impact.

The strategic planning session is intended to determine our top priorities and identify opportunities for partnerships. It will be very open, positive, and interactive and all attendees will be able to share their thoughts and ideas.

The first part of the session will be relatively brief in order to go over introductions, the need for strategic planning and some recent local economic development efforts. The bulk of the session however will be to discuss our strengths and weaknesses as a county and where we have the most opportunity for growth. Based on the opportunities for growth, attendees will then begin developing priorities they feel are the most important. Task forces will be created with specific boards, organizations, individuals, etc. identified to serve on them. Once the session is over, these task forces will be charged with determining how best to move forward making progress on their specific priority.

Our county needs this strategic planning session and all of you need to attend to make it successful. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to the LCEDF by 4pm on Friday, October 10, 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me as I am always happy to help however I can. The LCEDF office is located in the county courthouse basement at 216 E. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln or give me a call at 785-524-8954 or email me at lcedfdirector@outlook.com.

Kelly Larson
Executive Director
Lincoln County Economic Development Foundation