The City of U.P.’s Imagine 2045 Committee has been hard at work during the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Members have been meeting remotely twice a month while working to review and categorize the input received from various FlashVote polls. In all, they have reviewed 1,055 comments and sorted them by themes and ensuing action items. The themes include:
- Parks & Rec
- Public Safety
- Retail Development
According to Mayor Pro Tem Steve Worthington, who is heading up the effort, the next step will be to review those themes and determine first and foremost any that would require legislative action by the Council. “For instance, if there is a desire to address zoning density in the city, that would require legislative action to amend our zoning codes,” he said. Other items will have to be addressed from a budgetary perspective, Worthington added. “We may want more police officers, but the question becomes how do we pay for them?”
Although the original plan for Imagine 2045 was to review the community’s feedback during the City Council’s planned annual retreat this month, the process has been altered to reflect COVID-19 restrictions. Worthington anticipates the Council will begin to review the feedback remotely. “Now that we have established a regular process for our remote City Council meetings, we encourage citizens to submit their questions and public testimony to the City Clerk prior to each meeting so that they can continue to be engaged in the Imagine 2045 process,” Worthington added.
He also notes that the world has changed drastically since the Imagine 2045 campaign began. “The feedback we received was all pre-coronavirus, but I suspect that some of our community’s priorities may have shifted since then,” Worthington said. “So we may revisit some topics, such as parks and recreation, to make sure we truly reflect the realities of our new normal.”