Planning, not reacting - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Planning, not reacting

Strategic planner to unveil public presentations today

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - It's like a road map to get to a more precise road map.

Steven Ames, a long-range strategic planner out of Bend, Ore., will unveil a pair of public presentations today aimed at gauging whether the community would be interested in starting to plan what Coeur d'Alene's future could look like.

One thing is certain, Ames said Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting during his first presentation, the times, they are changin'.

Globalized economies, technology, conservation practices: The world is moving quickly, and it's up to cities and communities to decide if they want to shape the changes or react to them.

"Maybe we can't change all of those collaborative global drivers but we can try to react and respond more strategically at the local level," Ames said. "And that's where I think local government can play a helpful and leading role."

Ames has conducted around 60 sessions for public agencies across the Northwest, Australia, and New Zealand over the last 15 years. He was brought to Coeur d'Alene to determine if the Lake City wants to extend the 2020 vision it drew up in 2000 to year 2030 and beyond.

The benefit of a vision, with an action plan to implement it, is that it creates a road map to a healthy community based on shared values, he said.

The goal would be to get as many people as possible to identify what they would like to see the area look like years from now, and how Coeur d'Alene could get there. Without a plan, communities could be more reactive than proactive, Ames said.

"If you don't know where you're going, you might end up somewhere else," Ames said, quoting former professional baseball manager Casey Stengel.

While planning an area's future, everything from growth to business to recreation opportunities play a part. But before the community decides to draw up a plan for 2030, it must first decide if the timing is right to even begin the endeavor.

So does the area want to start the road map to get to the road map?

Some have already said the timing is off.

The city of Coeur d'Alene has begun a multi-million McEuen Field park project, and is facing elections in November. Four incumbents were the target of an unsuccessful recall effort in the spring, and some critics of the proposal, such as Frank Orzell, recall organizer, have said the timing is wrong to start planning when so much is happening now.

"We are in a divided community," City Councilman Dan Gookin told Ames on Tuesday. "How do we get everyone to show up?"

No community is without strife, Ames said. Instead of focusing on a divide, focus on "shared ways they love the community and want to make it better."'

"It takes a little bit of a leap of faith," he said.

Tuesday's presentation laid the ground work for the public presentations today.

Ames will meet over breakfast with selected stakeholders - including Orzell and Jennifer Drake, organizer of the group which opposed the recall effort - and then host a pair of public presentations from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Lake City Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Drive, followed by another from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Eagles, 209 E. Sherman Ave.

Practice planning sessions will be a part of today's meetings.

And they should gauge whether energy to move forward with long-term planning exists.

If there is energy, planning could start down the line on how to get everyone together. In Bend, for example, more than 5,700 people had participated in the 11-month visioning phase of the process, according to reports there.

If there isn't energy, however, then the plan is dead, said City Attorney Mike Gridley, who invited Ames to town after learning of a similar process Ames led in Bend Ore., in 2005.

The goal is to have a community inspired project, he said. Without the community, there isn't a project.

"I think I lot of people feel like today is the time to start," he said. "The world has changed in 13 years ... We all know that."

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Pooey007 posted at 6:58 am on Thu, Feb 7, 2013.

    Pooey007 Posts: 24

    Have you attended one of these meetings? I did. I would LOVE to see the community come together for a major vision plan. I attended the breakfast meeting. I loved it and am excited about it. The best part? Community businesses paid to have Steven Aimes here...not the city. This will be a COMMUNITY event, possibly regional. NOT city. the breakfast meeting only Mayor Bloem and Gookin were there representing the council. .

  • bionic man posted at 5:26 pm on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    i'm curious what kind of relationship this guy has to our current "4" ???? just another example waste of taxpayer money going to/for the benefit of the players here in cda. glad i'm moving out of this "pos" town. used to be a nice place to just run by big money and corruption.

  • Pooey007 posted at 11:02 am on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    Pooey007 Posts: 24

    @voxpop "Let's see if I got this right. Our taxes are paying for some out of town "consultant" to propose that we think about how we should think about the future direction of Cda. I guess republicans can waste taxpayer money just as well as democrats".

    Where in this article does it say this?

  • Ziggy posted at 10:57 am on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    Ziggy Posts: 1191

    The huge mistake the city made is bringing in an out of town consultant to design McEuen. Doesn't everyone gag when "pickle ball" is mentioned? Most of us do.
    If they do NOT bring in some group from some other place, and really let the residents participant inclusively, this could work. I am sure Dan Gookin will do everything possible to make sure the people who actually live here have a say in this.

  • efromm posted at 7:27 am on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    efromm Posts: 681

    "The goal is to have a community inspired project, he said. Without the community, there isn't a project."
    Sums it up pretty well.

    This town has lost it's identity. And now its floating around trying to find it. The city has grown to the limits of it's boundaries. Which will be a problem in the future. Sounds like tourism is going to be the draw of choice for Cda unless they start annexing land to the East. It's mountainous I could see people building stuff out there. There are a lot of views of the lake out that way. Just perfect for another cliff side restaurant.

    Their plan to me seems like a waste of time and money. The last one did not see all the trouble coming. Nor did it plan for it. Who would have thought that 20 years of advertising to x cops and firefighters and one page adds in the La Times would pay off? Dwayne and his real estate buddies did. And they have done more to shape this town than any of the city planners ever thought. Give credit where it really is due. It's Dwayne Alene. If you can't see that you have not lived here long enough to remember when saw mills dominated the Cda down town. And the smell of wood was always in the air...

  • voxpop posted at 5:42 am on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Let's see if I got this right. Our taxes are paying for some out of town "consultant" to propose that we think about how we should think about the future direction of Cda. I guess republicans can waste taxpayer money just as well as democrats.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard