Following the success of the widely-attended Town-wide Community Voices meeting held in December, the Visioning process known as Community2gether moved into an important new phase. The new challenge is to focus on the goals prioritized during the Town-wide Community Voices meeting and to identify specific and implementable steps that will help us turn our vision into reality.
“This is always the exciting part of the process where the rubber starts to hit the road, where the ideas start to come together and the goals of the Vision become actionable,” said Gianni Long, the nationally known consultant who has worked on Visioning projects all over the country, including Warwick’s initial Visioning in 1993. “Now they have to translate those goals into specific and doable steps to implement the community’s vision.”
Three Categories & 14 Goals
Keeping with the Vision’s overarching theme of “Together,” the Steering Committee came up with three categories — Together We Care, Together we Thrive and Together We Grow.
The first, Together We Care, addresses the people aspect of a successful and growing community, the quality of life we expect and cherish. Together We Thrive focuses primarily on prosperity and a thriving economy while Together We Grow highlights the planning process that has to balance the old and the new as the Town, the three Villages and the hamlets move forward.
Under those three broad categories, there are 14 goals covering a wide variety of important areas, from balancing residential and commercial growth to becoming a more inclusive community; from new approaches to making housing more affordable to innovative ways to alleviate the commuting difficulties; from stemming drug use to promoting stewardship of the land and much more.
Over the course of the next two to three months, the Steering Committee will be working to mold the input — thousands of ideas from every corner of the Town — into a coherent, prioritized and implementable series of actions that can then be presented as a four-part plan of action ready to be put into motion. There will be an overall plan for the Town of Warwick, and a separate plan for each of the three Villages
As these action plans begin to take shape, the Steering Committee will begin working with the Town Supervisor and the three Village mayors as well as the 97 Warwick residents who have already signed pledges to demonstrate their desire to be involved as the Vision gets implemented.
“We did a Visioning back in 1993,” said Warwick Village Mayor Michael Newhard, “and it was very successful If this is something we do only once in 25 years, we want to get it right and I think we’re on the way to doing just that.”