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February 22, 2011 - Joe Gorman
The city of Warren is looking to implement its strategic plan, but it seems like most folks just don't care.
A planning session Saturday at the W.D. Packard Music Hall to get input on the plan, which was commissioned two years ago and completed by a firm from Bowling Green, drew only around 60 people on clear, yet cold day.
Contrast that with the excitement generated by the Youngstown 2010 plan. Thousands showed up on a bitterly cold, snowy evening to hear about the plan and also when the plan was unveiled after planners met in 12 different neighborhoods to get input from citizens.
Not to mock the planners or plan backers, but sitting on a plan for a long time does not generate much excitement. Nor does the idea of a plan, in general. In fact, in my travels around the city last week after a press conference was held to drum up support for Saturday's meeting, the fact that there is a plan was met with much skeptism as well as the general sentiment that there are already too many plans.
What the city needs to do is duplicate the 2010 planning process if they are serious about creating a buzz and getting lots of input. I covered the 2010 process and went to all 12 meetings. There was a buzz during those meetings and those who did the plan also live and work here. They want it to succeed.
Maybe they should start from scratch and use the existing plan as a blueprint. Getting out frequently is one way to combat cynicism head on. In fact, that is one of the main things that must be planned for: Cynicsm and apathy and how to combat them.
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