The City of Longmont wishes to remain a vibrant, free-standing community. The purpose of this planning process is to develop community-supported strategic policies that, if followed, will result in a balance between resources and expenditures that sustain Longmont's capacity to provide desired municipal services as we approach build-out of the Longmont Planning Area.
Process in Brief
The project will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will involve the community in shaping the vision for the City of Longmont as a mature, free-standing community. The visions will explore the role of the City government. Phase 2 will involve the community in deliberating on possible future scenarios. The deliberations will lead to policies that the Longmont City Council will need to consider as the City reaches build-out of its planning area.
Phase 1: Mobilizing the Voices and Visions of Longmont
November 2004 - April 2005
Phase 1 will foster high levels of community involvement among a broad spectrum of community members, resulting in the collective generation of possible futures for City of Longmont as a mature, freestanding community.
We will engage community members and City employees and officials in a series of individual interviews and Community Conversations that will:
Build high levels of community engagement and involvement in the strategic planning process
Discover and describe Longmont's "positive core." These strengths are discovered through conversation and story and are central to the City's social and strategic vitality. They must serve as the foundation for future choices, if the essential goodness of today's community is to be carried forward into the future.
Generate compelling positive visions of the future, which community members will subsequently evaluate through a process of deliberative dialogue.
1. Form Coordinating Team - This team of people will design and guide the inquiry, while actively reaching out to the community to build enthusiastic participation in the planning process.
2. Conduct First Wave of Interviews - Coordinating Team members will conduct one-to-one interviews to gather stories that capture each person's perspective on Longmont's strengths based on their personal experience in Longmont. [view the interview guide]
3. Conduct Community Conversations - The Coordinating Team will organize a minimum of 15 Community Conversations involving more than 50 organizations interviewing one another, using the guide that was developed for the individual interviews. To provide a rich experience, different types of groups and city staff will be invited to the same Conversation. For instance, young people from the Longmont Youth Council might attend a Conversation at the Senior Center along with staff from different departments.
4. Conduct "Best in Class" Interviews - "Best in Class" interviews will bring inspirational stories from other communities into the process. Findings of the interviews will be shared at the Community Summit.
5. Host Community Summit - The one-day Community Summit will involve any member of the community who wishes to participate. Our intention is to engage anywhere from 50 to several hundred people (interviewees, participants in Community Conversations, members of city advisory boards and commissions, residents and city government employees). Participants will conduct interviews, hear and make meaning of stories and hear "Best in Class" presentations (see #4 above) of what other cities and organizations are doing. They will "map" the positive core of Longmont , and envision mature, sustainable futures that build upon and amplify the City's most positive qualities. These possible futures will serve as the foundation for Phase 2, in which citizens will participate in deliberative dialogue both to make choices and to flesh out the implications of those choices with regard to City policies.
Phase 2: Community Choice-Making on Policy Directions
May - October 2005
In Phase 2, the rich set of visions, ideas, and possibilities from Phase 1 will become future scenarios for public deliberation. The scenarios will be firmly rooted in community members' experiences, values, aspirations, and sense of Longmont 's current strengths and future potential. Community members will discuss these scenarios through a structured deliberative process in various Deliberative Forums held throughout the community. The deliberations will produce an understanding of the range of policies that are consistent with the public's judgment.
1. Develop Issue Briefing Booklet - The booklet will include information consisting of 3 to 4 policy choices that reflect the desired future of Longmont as a mature, free-standing community as created in Phase 1.
The information along with additional economic research will be assembled into "pro" and "con" arguments for each choice and assembled into an Issue Briefing booklet for use by moderators and participants.
2. Conduct Deliberative Forums - In each 3-hour forum, moderators will engage participants in what the National Issues Forums calls choicework. Choicework is a form of deliberative dialogue in which participants "work through" 3 to 4 options, or "choices," for the future direction of the community. It encompasses weighing the pros and cons of each option in light of its probable impact on things community members value and desire; determining what trade-offs people are willing to accept in order to secure the good things they want; and reaching a conclusion about "the bottom line"-the range of actions people are willing to go along with. By working through the choices, participants will work toward the making of a public judgment: a shared view about a general direction for community action that they believe is in the best interests of all citizens.
3. Develop Draft Policies - The outcomes from the Deliberative Forums will become the basis for the next part of Phase 2, the development of a range of specific policy options. The Coordinating Team and Project Consultants will draw on their combined expertise and experience in fiscal analysis, land use planning, and policy development to construct concrete policy options, analyze their costs and benefits, and discuss the feasibility and likely consequences of each. The Coordinating Team will conduct focus groups or a community forum to discuss the policies with the community and meet with City Council to refine the policies prior to adoption.
4. Develop Final Report - The Final Report will include recommendations concerning performance measures that will provide quantifiable feedback regarding policy effectiveness. The Report will also examine how the findings and policy recommendations align with the City's existing plans and policies and how well suited the City's existing structures and operations are to carrying out the policies that are adopted.