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Make Use Of Long-Abandoned City Commission

We noted over the weekend the planning that was done over the past 10 to 15 years – and the lack of follow-up from some of those plans.

It’s something we hope isn’t repeated as the city works on its next comprehensive plan. And we think the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission could be one way to do so.

The commission was largely abandoned by former Mayor Eddie Sundquist, but it had been spinning its wheels even before Sundquist’s four years in office because members struggled to come up with a mission. In one of the most recent City Charter revisions the commission is given the requirement of weighing in on the city’s capital budget, something the group rarely did. But those who have been around City Hall for a couple of decades know the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission had been a productive, active group that was quite successful before it became bogged down in trying to figure out what it should be doing. Eventually it lapsed into dormancy. Now, it’s time to dust off the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission and put a reconstituted commission to work.

With the right membership, a reconstituted Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission could work with Mayor Kim Ecklund and city department heads to make sure Ecklund’s goals, and those of the City Council, are met. At the same time the commission can forge new partnerships and reinvigorate old ones. The commission could use its monthly meetings to focus on major city issues like housing, development, increasing vitality downtown, the homeless and the possibility of more migrants being housed in Jamestown. It could suggest policy to the council, help find best practices from other areas that could help Jamestown and be a group that helps keep strategic initiatives from city plans on target.

There is a need for a group that takes a 30,000-foot view of Jamestown, its issues and its successes. A reinvigorated Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission could do just that.

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