November 9, 2009

How would you slice up Walnut Creek’s budget pie to make the town a great place for people to live and work?

With Walnut Creek dealing with the fall-out of the recession and a decline in revenues, the city has launched what it called Community Conversations to receive input from residents on what their priorities are.

Those conversations will continue with Step 2 of those conversations. That is, workshops that will take place the week of November 30-December 6. In those workshops, participants will be given $500 (sorry, imaginary) to divvy up according to what services they see as most vital to achieving six goals that, it is believed, make Walnut Creek a desirable place to live and work.

Step 1 of these Community Conversations took place September and October. They consisted of five workshops in which 175 community members participated to create definitions for each of those six goals. Yours truly, by the way, participated in one of these workshops. Those definitions became the basis for “subgoals” that City Council members will discuss at a special meeting Tuesday.

Are you following me with this goal/subgoal thing? I hope so. Anyway, city council members will discuss these goals and subgoals at a special Tuesday meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m., and then turn the matter back over to community members for more input, which will be expressed by letting us go on our $500 budget spending spree.

Anyway here are the six goals. Each is followed by subgoals that are supposed to represent a consolidation of ideas of how community members define that goal.

A Safe Community

--Builds an informed, involved, and engaged citizenry

--Employs effective law enforcement practices and ensures visible law enforcement presence.

--Engages in broad emergency preparedness programs

--Maintains, preserves and protects public and private infrastructure

--Provides for safe access and mobility

--Provides for the social needs and well-being of its citizens

Culture, Recreation, and Learning

--Effectively collaborates with the community to jointly support cultural, recreational and learning opportunities

--Leverages partnerships with schools to offer life-long learning opportunities

--Offers cultural opportunities that attract regional visitors

--Provides high-quality, diverse, and multi-generational arts, recreational and athletic programs and venues

--Supports a vibrant downtown with amenities for gathering and a variety of shopping and entertainment venues

Economic Vitality

--Attracts robust and diverse retail and commercial businesses

--Facilitates planned development and diverse housing options

--Invests in building and maintaining a sustainable and thriving community

--Offers activities and amenities that attract regional visitors

--Partners with schools and community to foster top-rated educational opportunities

--Provides a safe, secure, and accessible community with a variety of mobility options

Effective Transportation and Mobility Options

--Ensures adequate, well-planned, and accessible public parking options

--Plans, builds, and maintains a transportation system that eases congestion and optimizes mobility

--Provides and encourages safe travel for pedestrians and cyclists

--Provides and promotes convenient access to diverse and efficient modes of public transportation

Stewardship of the Natural and Built Environment

--Facilitates environmentally sound transportation systems

--Preserves, protects, and maintains natural resources and public space

--Preserves, restores and enhances what exists today

--Promotes sustainability of the environment

--Promotes responsible development and maintenance

Strong neighborhoods and a sense of community

--Develops and encourages community involvement, participation, and pride

--Effectively collaborates and communicates with its citizens

--Offers and encourages a variety of transportation modes to connect neighborhoods and the downtown

--Promotes and sustain physically attractive neighborhoods and public space

--Promotes and supports enrichment opportunities

--Provides citizens with a safe place to live, work and play.

Next Steps in the Community Conversations

Following today’s study session, people who live or work in Walnut Creek will be invited to allocate an imaginary $500 among the goals and subgoals according to what they value most. This activity will take place over the week of November 30 through December 6 in the first floor training room at City Hall:

--Monday, November 30, 4-8 p.m.

--Tuesday, December 1, 7:30-11:30 a.m.

--Wednesday, December 2, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

--Thursday, December 3, 4-8 p.m.

--Sunday, December 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


wcv said...

OMG these people remind me of high school student government.

Nerds on power trips with way too much time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

Fire Cindy Silva!

Anonymous said...

Seems like a valid exercise. Sometimes it does need to be brought down a level. Good way to get community input and involve them in the thought process. People do need to be more educated about the budget pie so they don't make foolish comments on blogs or get brainwashed by those on one side of the issue.

I wish I had time to go.