This past Tuesday, members of the Strategic Planning Committee presented their work to the Commission and won unanimous support and accolades for their efforts.
Vice Mayor Mark Rossi thanked the team for going “above and beyond,” and Commissioner Barry Gibson, who said he read the plan three times, hailed the pages as “excellent,” and “very well thought out.”
“We’ve approved this tonight, but that doesn’t mean we have to have all of this done tomorrow,” said Gibson. “A lot of this is already in place.”
He was referring to the Code of Ethics clause.
“We did that last year,” he said.
He referred to the implementation of a Five-Year Capital Plan.
“We already did that,” he added. “It’s in a binder. You can get a copy.”
Other measures, Gibson pointed out, may not be feasible due to simple economics.
“It sounds like they want us to hire and create a whole office and hire three people, four people. We’re not going spend money to hire a City Development Office to ‘facilitate and solicit new business.’ That’s not the role of the City of Key West. We should be about less government – not more.”
Throughout 15 pages, Gibson circled, checked or added a question marks besides each line item. [pullquote]“If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there. I congratulate this group. I’ve watched them work and they’ve done a fabulous job!”- Bob Kelly, Key West resident[/pullquote]
Planning Commission Chair MaryBeth McColloch reminded the dais they know there are parts of the plan that shouldn’t be executed by city officials.
“There are other places the money is going to come from and quite frankly the talent pool. Some entity has to say, ‘Let’s have a strategic plan, and let’s move forward,’ and in Key West, that’s the city commission.”
The Planning Committee’s mission was to recognize “a changing Key West and a desire to shape a broad vision for the future,” based on input gathered at public meetings.
“I like that we are going to work on our tourist industry and at preserving that,” said Cates. “This plan recognizes that’s one of our key businesses down here for our survival. But, there are a few as Commissioner Gibson talked about we are going to have to work on. We may not reach one hundred percent completion, but at least we can take the direction. We had some really good people working on this and dedicating a lot of their time. The city appreciates that.”
The most important step in seeing the plan to fruition is establishing an Implementation Committee, which will be made up of people throughout the community from the city and private sectors, and “the guy on the corner.” To find out how you can participate carrying out environmental, housing, tourism, educational and cultural initiatives contact your commissioner.
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Key West Strategic Plan Committee
MaryBeth McCulloch, Chairwoman
Perry Johnston, Vice Chair
Kevin D. Collins, Facilitator