SIKESTON -- Sikeston's Vision for Tomorrow team has identified negative trends and opportunities within the city. On the agenda for this week's meeting: planning.
"This is the exciting part of the strategic planning process where we get creative and specific about our desires and plans for the future, have challenging discussions, and make tough decisions," said Derek Okubo, Vision for Tomorrow facilitator. "It is without question the most dynamic part of the process."
The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Sikeston Senior High School cafeteria.
During previous meetings, Vision participants were asked what the likely future for Sikeston would be without intervention. They predicted the loss of industry and Sikeston's economic base; increased unemployment and crime; the loss of young people -- future leaders -- due to a lack of jobs and unattractive quality of life; and a declining population.
Participants then identified four key areas where change should be focused to prevent this undesirable future: economic development, education, housing and quality of life.
Key Performance Area teams were created to thoroughly explore each of these four performance areas, identify the challenges and opportunities that exist, develop a desired vision for the next 15- 20 years, establish goals for the future, and develop strategies with action steps to accomplish these goals.
"This process allows citizens to not only identify problems, but to be part of the solution," said Jim Schwaninger, Vision co-chairman. "The responsibility for success is shared by all team members."
Teams will present their final report identifying action steps, responsible parties, timelines and needed resource needs on Jan. 8.
"It is not too late to join the Vision for Tomorrow team," said Carolyn Harris, Vision co-chair. "We urge anyone interested in contributing to the future of our community to join us at our next meeting."
Harris said citizens can also stay abreast of the team's progress by clicking the "Vision for Tomorrow" link at the city's Web site at www.sikeston.org.
Those who are not on a KPA team and wish to access or contribute to Vision material are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate which key performance area team they wish to join.