On November 10th, Mayor Pape hosted a community strategic planning meeting at the James F. Dicke Auditorium at New Bremen High School. Fifty-six invitations were sent seeking attendance from community members (clergy, schools, business or landownership). Nearly 45 people attended to learn more about the strategic planning efforts for the Village of New Bremen.
Mayor Pape began the meeting explaining the purpose of the strategic plan -- to create a 15-year plan for our community. The working document, created with community input, would provide direction for future leaders to use for decisions that is in the best interest of the village. “We are seeking guidance by the community, we (council) don’t want to make all the decisions, trust us” commented Pape. Pape explained the goal of today’s meeting would be to create a steering committee comprised of representatives (members) from the community. For example, while all four clergy member were invited, one would represent all on the steering committee, etc. The size of the steering committee would be approximately 15 people. While role in the community played a part in the creation of the committee, generation diversity was of importance as well. Pape stated that the steering committee should be comprised of baby boomers, generation X and millennials. For proper community planning, all generations need to have a part in identifying the needs of the community. For all in attendance, Pape encouraged “Talk to people, what do we want to do? Help provide the input for the community.” Village Administrator, Chris Dicke, a New Bremen native added, “We can still be a village 30 years from now, but we need to plan accordingly”.
Pape informed the audience that a previous study was sponsored by the New Bremen/New Knoxville Rotary Club back in 2002 through Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc. It was not until recent months that village personnel stumbled upon the study. Discussions had already been taking place regarding the need for a facilitator to assist us with a community assessment, so finding this focus study was a valuable asset. If you would like to review the 2002 study, a link can be found below.
Mayor Pape introduced Paul Tecpanecatl of Poggemeyer Design Group (PDG). While other entities were considered for facilitation, working with PDG on an updated study made sense since their firm had gathered data on our community history during the previous study. With that research already identified, the new study could be compiled more efficiently.
Tecpanecatl spoke to the audience about the need to update plans, such as reviewing land use every 5 years (residential, shopping, parks, etc.), taking into account current zoning and necessary changes. He stated comprehensive plans, like the 2002 study, should be updated every 10 years. Tecpanecatl shared the importance of getting feedback from the community, including asking high school seniors about their view of the community.
Tecpanecatl detailed the assessment process of identifying the long term vision through a SWOT analysis (community Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). While the working document is to identify what New Bremen could/should look like in 10-15 years, the strategies developed will cover short term (1-2 years), mid-range term (3-4 years) and long-term strategies (5+ years). The process will take about 5-6 months with committee meetings taking place once a month. Mid 2017, a report to the community will be made, as well as presented to village council for review.
At the end of the meeting, individuals broke out into groups to identify who would serve on the committee to be the voice of their respective community group. Since the meeting, a few additions have been made to the list, in order to maintain the diverse balance of community role and generational. The list of the strategic planning committee members can be found at the bottom of this webpage. Community members are encouraged to reach out to any one of these committee members to share ideas for consideration.
The first series of strategic planning meetings are to begin in January.