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Decatur City Council to create a vision statement for the city without asking for public input

The good news is that after going years without a vision, the Decatur City Council will be creating a community vision statement.  The bad news is that the city will not be asking input from residents on what that vision should be.  On Friday, August 18 beginning at 7:00 AM in the third-floor conference room of the Decatur Club, members of the city council will have a study session.  The study session will include a progress report on its 2021-2023 priority goals, measuring and tracking performance outcomes, and developing a vision statement.

Citizen engagement is critical to successful governance and residents of the city should be invited to assist in developing a long-term vision for the city they live in.  Unfortunately, the meeting is structured such that citizens will only be able to give public comment after the vision statement is created by the council.  Given the city’s long-standing population decline and low median household income, local government needs citizen input now more than ever.  Furthermore, it is apparent that some of the city’s strategic planning goals continue to fall short.  Neighborhood revitalization is the number one goal of the city council, yet the city has been unable to keep pace with the rate of blight.  Moreover, the city council recently redirected over $1 million in funds committed to neighborhood revitalization to other areas.

According to the documentation the city council received in advance of the study session, “no more than about a third of the City Council’s time at council meetings is spent, directly or indirectly, on one or more of the 6 priority goals.”  Thus, even though neighborhood revitalization is the city’s number one goal, the amount of time and money spent on neighborhood revitalization is not commensurate to its importance. 

What do you think?  What elements should be included in a community vision for Decatur?


An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at: Phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link:

Horn for Decatur
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