Steering committee members chosen
Winona County will embark on what may be a two-year mission to update its comprehensive land use plan. On Tuesday, commissioners selected a list of 15 citizens to serve on a steering committee to help guide the work, and the group is expected to begin meeting in the coming weeks.
The comprehensive plan acts as a framework for land use regulations contained in the county zoning ordinance. It outlines the values and expectations of the community, and sets a pace for development for the future.
The last time the county updated the plan, the process was mired in controversy. The document was unanimously voted down by all township officials in the county, but adopted nonetheless. This time, says Planning and Environmental Services Director Jason Gilman, things will be different.
Gilman has stressed the importance of a comprehensive plan that is grassroots in nature, supported by citizens. To this end, he asked that the board select steering committee members who would represent a broad range of views and perspectives.
Initially, county staff members solicited steering committee nominees from several county organizations, such as the Farm Bureau and Land Stewardship Project. After commissioner Steve Jacob asked that the pool of potential candidates be broadened, county leaders asked for residents to volunteer for the task, and soon had nearly 40 potential committee members step up for the work.
Commissioners selected their top choices among the list of applicants to see which had the most board support, and selected the following to serve on the steering committee: Bob Marg, Craig Porter, Duane Wirt, Everett Rolfing, Jack Miller, John Bronk, Leon Bowman, Mike Flynn, Nick Koverman, Shelly DePestal, Andy Kronenbush, Don Evanson, Judy Ellinghuysen, Marv Hunger and Rudy Spitzer.
Commissioner Greg Olson voted against the selection of committee members.