Rich Hill Mining Review February 25,2011
About 30 residents participated in the Public vision meeting held at the Rich Hill High School auditorium ,Tuesday evening on Feb.22.They included city officials,school board members,leaders in the community and concerned citizens.
Prior to the meeting,those examined large displays which depicted Rich Hill past and potential future.There were economic graphs,demographic studies and comparisons made with other communities.
The meeting opened with Vision Committee Chairman,Bart McClaughry,welcoming representatives from Drury University and those in attendance. Then Professor Jay Garrott greeted guests and introduced the students involved in the project.
According to Garrott ,the Drury students had the opportunity to select the community they wanted and this semester,his top five students all selected Rich Hill.
Workshops were then formed with residents teaming up with Drury students to determine a primary goal for the city,complete with objectives and suggested methods to achieve their aim .Groups were furnished with goals,objective and method cards.
Each group was asked to look over proposed goals and select the one they felt was most important.Examples included :to promote economical growth through the creation of new jobs,become a model for small town renewal,enhance the city's identity, etc.There was also a blank card to make other suggestions.
This required discussion among those present and negotiation.Then each team was asked to select five objectives that would best equip the community in reaching their goal which included suggestions like create career opportunities for young adults, increase curb appeal, capitalize on the nearby interstate, etc.
The next step was to identify ten methods toward reaching their objectives. Examples included: adding a truck stop, encouraging the development of industrial park, provide pedestrian walkways and bike paths, road improvements, a historic museum, community center, etc.
For over an hour, groups discussed and worked on their vision proposals determining a primary goal, objectives and methods which according to Garrott will enable the students to gain insight into the community's values and priorities.
The students will then take what they have learned and develop a proposed vision for Rich Hill complete with objectives and step by step methods. Those proposals will be presented at the next public meeting to be held April 5. at that meeting the students will again seek feedback from the community, taking what they learn with them to finalize their vision proposal.
In the upcoming weeks, the Mining Review will present the goals of each of the four groups that participated, including the objectives and methods which where proposed. Two of the four groups had identical goal; tho had other directions in mind and all varied in their objectives and methods.
In an effort to communicate to the public and encourage participation, the Review will interview those involved in tuesday's meeting and get their perspectives and vision for Rich Hill's future.