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|City Council Reviews Goal Setting Report
|The picture is a bit more clear for the Galesburg City Council after Monday night's special work session meeting.
Aldermen met with the Mercer Group, based out of Georgia, earlier this year during a multi-day work session to develop comprehensive goals for the City of Galesburg. Last night, information gathered during those meetings was reviewed in document form.
In addition to identifying strengths, the City Council also focused on items preventing them from accomplishing their goals for the City. Included in the inhibitors list is a hesitancy to issue bonds, past unwillingness to create or raise taxes, and a general lack of consensus on important projects.
Mercer Group Vice President Steve Egan, who led the work sessions earlier this year, said he also took a stab at updating the City's vision and mission statements - something Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin says didn't provide much value for him.
"The larger they get, the broader the language and it seems to be less useful," says Karlin. "Aren't these vision statements and mission statements the vision and mission statements of about 100 communities or 200 communities in Illinois?"
Karlin mentioned he would rather focus on concrete projects. Nonetheless, among the goals listed in the report is the ability to generate positive growth for Galesburg, including in the City's population.
City Manager Todd Thompson says that he has worked in other communities that have conducted research on population growth.
"I worked in a community once that over a 10-year period they averaged about 250 new homes and we did survey those people about why they moved there and it wasn't jobs," says Thompson. "They moved to that particular community for quality, affordable housing, great schools, great recreation and public safety."
It was recommended that the report will be worked on over the coming month to allow aldermen to consider all possibility and to allow City Administration to get organized.
Goals for the Council to accomplish include: telling the story of Galesburg, improving the attractiveness of the City, making Galesburg a desirable place to live, and generating positive growth in the community.
Mayor and WGIL Owner John Pritchard said that growth also includes hiring in the City, but says he believes its difficult to generate growth without the right labor force.
"There are employers here who are looking for employees, particularly skilled trades people who can't find them," says Pritchard. "There are companies here that might move operations here that would result in more employment, but are concerned about workforce."
Egan says there are several steps to take including finalizing the report. The City will likely convene a work session with community partners such as the colleges and local non-profits, and finally create implementation committees for each of their goals.
|09 30 13 by Newsroom
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