Rob Wasserman shares his experiences trying to collaborate with different groups within Summit County
Our Future Summit Forums are held on the second Thursday of each month. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Creating a Vision Statement
for Summit County
August 10, 2006
Silverthorne Public Library
Jennifer Kermode began the discussion by describing the characteristics of a vision statement.
The dictionary defines a vision as:
1) the faculty of sight,
2) unusual competence in discernment or perception
3) the manner in which one sees or conceives of something
4) a mental image produced by the imagination.
She placed emphasis on the final
two points. "Vision" could describe the way we perceive our lives in
Land Use 46
Arts & Culture 8
Note: These figures are as of August 17, 2006. If you would like to take the survey, please log on towww.ourfuturesummit.org and follow the links.
The Summit Chamber has identified the top three concerns of their members as 1) the high cost of living; 2) increased commercial and residential density and 3) transportation.
Jennifer then quoted read several vision statements including some extreme ones. While most might consider these ridiculous, they still resonate with some segments of the population.
Sarah Stokes Alexander, an
experienced facilitator with the
In defining a vision statement is, Howard Hallman offered that a vision expresses who we are and what we want to be; a vision statement is how we put these concepts into words.
Sarah Alexander added that a vision statement reflects the highest potential of what we aspire to be.
She then asked the assembly to describe community values important to them. Responses included:
In addressing how we might be more inclusive in the process necessary to develop a consensus vision statement, the group came up with the following suggestions:
We sound a little schizophrenic, in that we want to have it all. How do we keep recreation facilities and open space and also invest in affordable housing? Where do we draw the line, and how do we manage to keep a balance between the amenities and values that we love about the county and our ability to afford and sustain our lifestyle choices?.
One of the best vision statements of the past century was John F.
Kennedy’s, i.e., that
How should accommodate conflicting ideas? Much of what we are discussing is not going to happen soon. How do we pare this process down to something that is feasible in the near future?
How do we, as a community, balance our values? How much is enough?
We should identify broad set of goals, hold what we can in place, and learn how to influence specific decision drivers. An example is the value for preserving open space and the quality of our natural resources was in danger with a predominating economic decision driver – the desire for sales tax revenue.
The Summit Chamber a while back sought to initiate a community
assessment sponsored by the State of
This visioning exercise is a grassroots effort by a citizens group. The mechanics of what we do with our results is an important part of the democratic process. We could hold forums, circulate petitions and encourage buy-in from the community, tools critical for influencing public policy decision-making.
We should recognize our internal and community values, that which motivates us. What are they? By evaluating ourselves and the greater community, we move toward balance and compromise.
The importance of voting was stressed. The quality of our elected officials makes a big difference. Our situation is greatly influenced by the choices made by those who have moved to the mountains for the common values we hold dear yet still expect the goods, services and conveniences that they are accustomed to having. Another factor is that we live in a sales tax driven economy that typically drives development decisions.
How do second homeowners impact our vision? Their influence on land use and housing costs creates an economic barrier to middle income families seeking to settle here.
Others replied that the problem is not with second homeowners but with developers who favor profit over shared community values. By including developers in the visioning process, we may find ways to create incentives for affordable housing development.
Additional stakeholders exist with different ideas about what is important to our future::
The group then discussed existing vision statements or master plans already created by local municipalities and county government. David Weihnacht will research what exists and post results on the Our Future Summit website.
Since many of these statements and plans are drafted by or under the direction of politicians, they may not accurately reflect public opinion.
Town vision statements are largely incomplete because they focus on economics and land use issues, often to the neglect of human values.
Let's heed our economic realities. We are a resort community and economy. Might we learn from other communities who are ahead of us in addressing these concerns?
Howard Hallman concluded the meeting thanking the assembly for their collaborative efforts.
Our next community forum will consider “After the Pine Beetle,
Sarah Stokes Alexander writes down values suggested by the audience
Sheriff John Minor makes a point as Tom Parsons and Lou Del Piccolo look on.
Comments and questions can be directed to:
Howard Hallman, PO Box 209, Frisco, CO 80443
970-468-9134 or firstname.lastname@example.org