About 20 citizens attended a community action planning meeting held at the Gordon Elementary School cafeteria on Monday, October 9 from 5:30-7:50 p.m. The crowd included three members of the planning commission and the city manager. Daniel Bennett, community planner with Panhandle Area Development District, and Kelsey Irvine, Community Health Planner with Panhandle Public Health District, facilitated the discussion. Light dinner was provided and the event was advertised via local media including the paper, radio, city listservs, flyers, and the city website.
The group began by reviewing the demographic update of the comprehensive plan and recent population trends. The group also reviewed community needs as identified by a community survey which was open from July through August and had 222 responses. These responses can also be viewed on the city of Gordon’s website.
The Planning Commission proposed three starting big topics and invited three more to be brought forward by the community. The final six big topic areas were:
3. Clean-up/Reduce Blight
5. Economic Development
6. Community Support Facilities
People were asked to lead the conversation in each topic area, where all topics but recreation had a person to lead the conversation. Current activities, future needs, and action items to move Gordon towards its vision were developed for all topic areas except recreation, and that topic will be tabled for further future discussion. Groups were first asked to brainstorm what the community was currently doing and what it needed in each area and then from that list select the best actions which would help the group achieve their vision to develop actions, who will lead the process, what resources are needed, and how to measure success. Participants then came together and voted on the actions they thought were best to begin working to achieve their community’s vision.
Next steps after this meeting will be to reconvene a group to set out specific plans with detailed steps for each of the priority strategies, which include:
1. Clean-up, Redevelop commercial properties.
2. Childcare Center.
3. Flexible Venue for Family Community and Professional Use
4. Enforce ordinances
5. Outside investments, Marketing/ attraction
6. Wellness Center
7. Main Street Sidewalks
8. City call USDA about building more low-income housing, 3 bedroom
9. Activate health board to condemn properties
10. Talk to Nepsac about old rehab center property. Sell or lease?