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  Wednesday October 22nd, 2014    

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Whose plan is it anyway? (04/14/2014)
From: Tim Breza

Winona

A plan was presented for review at the recent public meeting of the Levee Park committee. The point was made early in the meeting that the plan was not the committee’s plan, or staff’s plan, but only the consultants’ plan. The consultants received their direction from the committee (and maybe staff) to create the plan. Why the lack of ownership after a year of work and thousands of dollars is anyone’s guess.

The plan as presented had 14 boards for the public to look at with only minimal or no explanation for each one. People could wander about looking at the boards and ask what each meant if a committee member was close. Each committee member had their own explanation of what they thought the boards represented. Some of this could have been answered in a question or answer period, but this was strangely lacking. Interestingly, no one wanted to guess potentially how many millions of dollars the plan would cost.

Then the members of the public were asked to write their comments and suggestions on small note cards for the committee’s consideration. Hard to do when you are asked to react to other’s ideas without them being heard or explained.

Some members of the public were quick to endorse the ideas on the boards. I suggest that with only one idea and no public dialogue, any idea is a good idea, how ever good or bad.

Now the committee can do whatever they want with those ideas on the note cards. They can pick and choose, discarding the ones they don’t like, and the public will be no wiser.

I don’t think this is wise planning, or use of public dollars, or respecting public input.

So where does that leave the planning process? No one knows because no one wants to take ownership and be transparent about the process.

 

 

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