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Community Outreach Meeting - June 24, 2014
On June 24, 2014 we held a Community Outreach Meeting at New Horizons Church to kick-off the planning process. The goal of the meeting was to identify the framework and scope of our Comprehensive Plan update, which will prepare the township for future development and growth. We received excellent feedback and will use this vital information to prepare requests for qualifications (RFQs) and requests for proposals (RFPs) from professional planners to aid us in developing our updated Comprehensive Plan. Below is a link to the presentation given at the meeting.

Jefferson Township 2020 Presentation

Exercise

Part of the community meeting was an exercise designed to get the community involved in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the township. Eight total boards were put together for the following features:
• What is nice about Jefferson Township?
• What isn’t so nice about Jefferson Township?
• Parks and Recreation
• Transportation
• Economic Development
• Housing
• Critical Issues
• Community Wish list

Instructions:
On a scale of 0-5, 0 being a weakness and 5 being a strength, the attendees were asked to evaluate each subtopic under each feature. It is important to note that each subtopic is independent of one another and is not ranked against each other. This means if a participant voted 0-5 in one subtopic they could also vote 0-5 in the rest of the featured subtopics. The official count for individual participants on each feature board was 34. Assuming we take 2.5 as being neither a strength nor weakness we can multiply 34 (total number of participants) and find the nominal value for average, in this case is 85 (2.5x34). Scores falling below 85 we be considered a weakness and scores above 85 would be considered a strength. The measure of How Strong and How Weak would be defined by relative to highest possible score (170) and lowest possible score (0).

Results:
What’s nice? – This entire feature board was perceived as a strength. Natural/Rural Setting (149), Size of Community (129), Low Taxes (117), Affordability (115) and, Slow Paced Lifestyle (114).

What isn’t so nice? – The perceived strength in this feature was size of community (89). The perceived weaknesses were lack of community/culture (34), lack of amenities (59), High Taxes (66) and, slow paced lifestyle (83).

Parks and Recreation – This entire feature was perceived as a weakness. Availability/Accessibility (69), Types of Facilities (60), Number of
Facilities (48), Features/Amenities (41) and, Programs (25).

Transportation – This entire feature was perceived as a weakness. Street Lighting (53), Parking (48), Circulation/Flow (46), Traffic (41) and, Alternative Methods biking, walking etc. (12).

Economic Development – The lone perceived strength was Agricultural (98). The perceived weaknesses were Green Business (11), “Ma/Pa” shops (16), Service/Restaurant/Retail (35), and Industry/Manufacturing (80).

Housing – The entire Housing feature was perceived as being a strength. Size and Space (150), General Quality (148), Affordability (113), Maintenance/Up keep (112) and, Utility costs (96).

Critical Issues – The perceived strengths in this feature were Appearance (140), Safety (128), Amenities/Services (95), and Housing (92). The perceived weaknesses in this feature were transportation (26), parks and recreation (56), and Economic Development (77).

Community Wish List – This feature was not assessed numerically.

Summary:
The goal of this workshop was to find trends that were reoccurring in multiple features. While this workshop is certainly not flawless, due to unintended designer/participant errors, bias and, subjective input, the results were never intended to reflect a statistically significant sample or represent the entire township population. Instead this workshop was an opportunity to engage citizens with an outlet to participate with their community and think as a planner would. The workshop did provide some meaningful insight as a general consensus for features identified as a strength; housing, size of community, low taxes, affordability, and lifestyle. As well as features identified as a weakness; transportation, parks and recreation, and lack of community/culture.