Story by Lourice Angie
The Town-wide community visioning project known as Community2gether held a final community voices meeting on Mon., Dec. 11 at the Warwick Valley Middle School. Over 150 people attended the highly anticipated meeting including local officials, farmers, artists, and merchants of the greater community made up of the three Villages – Greenwood Lake, Florida and Warwick.
Nationally known visioning consultant Gianni Longo, who currently leads the group effort and also led the successful project back in 1993, was impressed by the large turn-out and the broad community involvement occurring since the project kicked off in the summer.
Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton welcomed residents saying, “It’s really great to see everyone out. This is a busy time to spend a couple of hours doing this. This came about through conversations with Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard earlier this year. We have this good relationship for working together and we understand that everything we each do individually affects the whole here so we need to look ahead as a team as to where we think we need to go. The most successful outcomes are generally those that come from the grassroots. That is why this is so important and I thank those who took part in the individual sessions. But this is really part of the whole process.”
The meeting focused on two major objectives: residents were asked which goals they felt were most important for the entire community, including data collected from previous surveys and meetings; and what approach would be most effective. In addition, they were asked to make suggestions that could potentially be game changing ideas and open possibilities that currently don’t exist within the community.
Residents voted on these topics using electronic keypads provided to all. Although voting results cannot be determined for a few weeks, many positive ideas have already emerged about various topics and ideas such as improved zoning for balanced growth, better pedestrian access and safety, bike lanes, infrastructure improvements, and much more.
Together We Thrive, Together We Grow, Together We Care
Approximately 90% of those in attendance voted to get involved in helping the vision process move forward and 86 people individually signed a pledge card with details on how they were willing to effectively work. Once all the data is collected, reviewed and organized by category, members of the Community 2000 committee will form action teams. Some will be governmental, some community based, and some will be combined. Elected officials will ultimately receive this valuable information to help them determine how best to make these ideas a reality.
“The momentum building this project is inspiring,” said Steering Committee member Erika Grizzanti. “I’d encourage everyone to volunteer and stay involved by joining our facebook group or frequenting our website.”
“Thank you all for your input and time. We’ll see you all at the next phase, whatever that may be,” said Sweeton.
Sweeton closed by saying, “Thank you all for coming and for helping us to form Warwick’s future. From here we will give the elected officials some directions as to where to go in a good way to continue to keep Warwick the super place that it really is. Thank you all for being here. We look forward to the results.”
For more visit www.community2gether.org or join the community2gether Facebook page.