(Jim Clark) – I was wrong.
In last week’s column I wrote that the Nevada Rural Development Council would deliver its draft report on the results of the community assessment listening sessions held last June at the upcoming August 28 town meeting. But, on August 14, the council emailed the report to some 154 participants who had provided their email addresses so it’s out there for all to see. Any reader who wishes to see the report should email me at the address shown below and I will provide a copy in electronic form.
Sponsor IV/CB Vision 2020, with financial support from the Washoe County School District, IVGID, the Visitors’ Bureau and many private donors, set out to get a broad cross-section of community opinion. They identified a number of groups who had interests in common such as the education community, public safety, realtors, arts and culture, students, recreation, faith-based and Latinos, inviting them to “listening sessions” to express thoughts on how to improve our community. Separate sessions were also held for Incliners and Conversation Café participants. The report provides a fascinating window into the collective thoughts of locals. In all, some 250+ Incline/Crystal Bay residents participated in the sessions and expressed their opinions on the future of our community.
In the process, certain ideas and thoughts recurred frequently enough that the Development Council identified them as “themes.” The greatest interest fell in the areas of “Community Development,” “Education,” “Governance,” “Mobility” and “Quality of Life.” Subsections of Community Development included economic development, tourism, down town identity, cleaning up Tahoe Boulevard, work force housing, infrastructure and underground utilities.
Education sub-themes included K-12 continuity, Sierra Nevada College, private schools, e Learning Café, the library, bilingual issues and community/business support of schools. The Governance theme included autonomy, local control, form of government, the disconnect from the valley, local leadership and local action committees. Mobility included connectivity, transportation, sidewalks, trails, bikes and bike racks, ADA accessibility, roundabout, water taxi and public transit. Finally Quality of Life included the Lake, mountains, recreation, clean air/water, small town atmosphere, volunteerism, non-profit groups, aging in place and a welcome wagon suggestion.
The draft report reviewed participants’ recommendations for improvement and provided guidance and resources on how to implement goals. Goals?? What goals?? That’s what the community will be establishing and prioritizing by vote on Tuesday, August 28, at the Chateau. The session starts at 7:00 pm. Once there is consensus on the priority of community goals, the discussion will turn to establishment of action teams to attain the agreed on goals.
A really interesting section of the draft report, starting at page 48, is a listing of comments made by you, me and every other participant. As promised by the Development Council no recommendation or suggestion was overlooked or downplayed nor was the identity of any commenter revealed. There are 24 pages of them, organized by major theme
On page 72 of the report are the education community members’ written input secured through Survey Monkey during the process. . . . again, none for personal attribution, so the six pages of remarks are frank, open, and in some cases, biting.
The report discloses the good, the bad and the ugly. Development Council staff advises us that the first step in resolving our perceived challenges is to come up with a consensus vision statement for our community. They have wrung a plethora of thought from our community and will aid us in bringing it all together August 28.
Then it’s up to us.
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates and has served on the Washoe County & Nevada State GOP Central Committees; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)