Current phase of visioning process nears end
By Carol Rosen
The Molalla visioning process has extended its visioning survey deadline to Feb. 28. Council members hope to reach 2,000 surveys to help it achieve its final goal of creating a visioning statement and action plan for the city's future by this summer's end.
The Molalla City Council chose council members Elizabeth Klein and Leota Childress to head the project, which started last April. The two sought and received funding from the Ford Family Foundation and began attending training sessions with other rural cities from Oregon and Northern California. From these sessions they were able to put together an early survey from April to June 2017 for 140 residents to determine the questions for the next step in the process.
Klein and Childress looked for repeated words from these initial surveys to determine questions for the larger web surveys.
They put the new survey on the Molalla city website in September. Klein said the goal is to receive 2,000 surveys. Those questions include up to 50 words explaining what people like about Molalla, three words or short phrases describing Molalla, three things people would like to see to improve Molalla's quality of life, how people would like the city to communicate important information, age group, years living in Molalla, the area where residents live and any interest in volunteering.
"Molalla has a diverse population, and we want to include everyone," Klein said. "Besides the people living in Molalla we hope to get answers from the 46,000 people that live in a 10-mile radius of the city. These people can provide us with what people value about the city, which will help us to tease out the most important factors."
The next phase is two-fold, finding a facilitator to have meetings with residents for deeper and more detailed information and getting the funding to pay that person. Klein said she hopes during this phase to get more detailed information to come up with value statements.
"That will allow us to direct our resources to the most important areas the city can control and to collaborate with the people and services that aren't part of the city to meet all area resident's wants and needs," Klein said.
Once the process is completed, Klein and Childress hope to have a community celebration, although that's ahead and plans haven't been looked at yet. Klein expects the process to take about 18 months in all. She encourages everyone to take the survey and also sign up for the city's email updates for information about City Council meetings and community meetings.