City of Molalla says its off to a good start in new visioning process, looking ahead to what comes next

The Molalla visioning process keeps

moving along and city leaders want as

much of the public as possible to take

part, and also are looking for new voices

to talk about the future of Molalla.

The city conducted a survey and encouraged

citizens to participate via a

kickoff meeting, where officials invited

people connected with community

groups to help further spread the news

of the undertaking. Participants took a

survey to start the conversation to see

what is on people's minds when they

think about the future of Molalla.

One question that seems to stand

out is: "List three things that you

would like to see added to the Molalla

area to improve quality of life."

The four most commons answers

are: community events, walking, biking

and running trails, a revitalized

and beautiful downtown, and more


There were dozens of answers

and ideas tossed around this initial


City Councilor Elizabeth Klein

said a majority of the answers did

not come across as a surprise to

her, and that she is looking forward

to the fall, after she and fellow

councilor Leota Childress and

an undetermined member of the

city staff will participate in three

different Ford Family Foundation

"vision through action" workshops

before launching the second phase

of the Molalla visioning process.

"I really appreciate seeing certain

themes that came through

strongly, and that those themes

related to community, raising families,

tranquility of the area, and

safety, and we will see in phase

two if those are (themes) that keep

resurfacing that could be the beginning

of creating a value statement

for the community visioning


Klein said that based on the

findings of the survey, creating visioning

statements is the next priority

for the project.

"It gives the city and city council

enough information to figure

out where resources might be directed

and activities that can be

supported," she said.

Mayor Jimmy Thompson said

he hopes that Molalla citizens see

that the city council and other

community leaders are listening

and that people find that empowering

enough to become encouraged

to be even more engaged.

"The end result of the process

should be a unifying set of values

and a clear identity [for the city]

Thompson said. "Those will provide

us the foundation we need to

move into the future while ensuring

we become the community we

all want to be."

Other points the community included

in the survey were:

> Enjoying the small-town, community

environment — the people,

country and freedom.

> Parades and community

events, and the way everyone

comes together on July 4.

> The many home-grown residents

that take pride in the town

and its homegrown farm products.

> How easy it is to run into

someone you know.

> Molalla feels like a small,

friendly town, but at the same

time it's growing, which shows

that there is a draw to the community.

> People like the town, the community

that once was and that it's

trying to be again.

> The "awesome" fire department.

> Being able to ride a bike

around town.

As for business in Molalla, the

survey's central themes were:

> Molalla has friendly, helpful


> Staff members at some of the

larger chains know people by


> The opportunity that exists

for a cute, historic, small businessoriented


> Being able to have an office in

Molalla yet 99 percent of work

comes from outside the area.

When phase two of the study

starts this fall, Klein said she

hopes many more citizens will


"It's really important to hear

from as many people as we can in

order to include a variety of community

engagement activities,"

she said. "We hope to have a professional

facilitator lead that process

for us."

More to come on the Molalla visioning

process in the weeks and

months ahead.

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