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Editor's Desk

Comparative Visions
By Ken Anderson
Feb 12, 2004 - 1:13:00 PM

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The towns of the Katahdin area contracted with Advanced Management Catalyst, Inc. (AMCi) to facilitate what turned out to be the implementation of UN Local Agenda 21.

While Michael Kelly, of AMCi, repeatedly took credit for the "vision" process that took place in the Limestone area, according to claims found on their website, the Limestone project is credited to the Center for Consensual Democracy (CCD).

There's no large significance in this discrepancy, however, since CCD, headed by Larry Lemel, is in partnership with AMCi. They even share an email address.

When I first read the "vision statement" that was supposedly the product of a group of individuals representative of the Katahdin area, it was immediately clear that this statement was not truly representative of the area in which I live. Whether this was because the people who were selected to make up this group were not representative of the community or because the vision statement was not truly their own was an open question.

In September of 2003, the people of the Katahdin area were mostly retired and recently unemployed millworkers, their families, and others who were hurt by the bankruptcy of Great Northern Paper Company only a few months prior.

Their concerns were dominated by getting the mill back in operation, if possible, or secondarily, finding an alternate source of employment.

The Strategic Vision for the Year 2050 was not representative of these concerns or of the people who live here.

Let's compare the Katahdin area's vision for the future with the visions of people in Limestone, Waterville, and Aroostook County. Then for fun, we'll look at visions from another country, and from another state. I'll let the similarities speak for themselves.

Strategic Vision for the Year 2050
By the Katahdin Area Planning Committee

The Katahdin Region is a vibrant place to live, work, play, and retire. Our people are our greatest asset. Using the strengths, talents and heritage of our communities, we work together to constantly seek better ways to improve our quality of life.

We are committed and responsible stewards of the Region. We provide a welcoming, four-season gateway to an abundant and unique array of natural resources. Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park, and the forested regions of the Penobscot Watershed provide extraordinary beauty, economic opportunity, and context to our way of life.

Rich in culture, and with appreciation of our history, the region offers a multitude of museums, cultural events, festivals, performing arts facilities, sports, recreation and educational opportunities.

Education of community members is vital to our long-term success. We provide accessible, equal opportunities for community members to participate in lifelong learning. We are recognized for having an outstanding educational environment.

The faith community is strong and united. Religious diversity is celebrated and encouraged. Spiritual growth is fostered for all who choose to pursue it.

Our region boasts a growing, broad-based economy. We have innovative small businesses that sustainabily utilize our natural and intellectual resources. We pay special attention to businesses that add value to the materials from which they are produced. We are a leading force in maintaining a business-friendly atmosphere in the State of Maine.

We recognize tourism for the real value it brings to the region. The industry provides an array of amenities and services that provide enjoyable and enriching experiences for our visitors and residents.

Our citizens live in a safe and healthy environment. Wellness is achieved through an integrated health care system that provides seamless transitions for all levels of care. Health is supported at the individual and community levels. We value health and wellness and provide opportunities for healthy living.

Municipal and public services are provided in an effective and efficient manner. Good citizenship and participation are encouraged and welcomed. We take an active role in improving and influencing government policies at the local, state and national levels. Decisions are made cooperatively for the benefit of all.

Objectives:

  1. Create economic and job growth.
  2. Create efficient, effective municipal services.
  3. Maximize educational opportunities cost-effectively
  4. Instill Katahdin Pride
  5. Develop and promote recreational and cultural activities
  6. Offer Enhanced, Affordable Health Care
  7. Beautify the Katahdin Region
  8. Create an Exciting Life for Our Young Adults

Limestone Vision for the Year 2030

Limestone, originally incorporated in 1869, has a family farm tradition that nurtures love of family, responsible citizenry, a strong work ethic, and dynamic ethical leadership. We enjoy a low crime rate, clean air and water, and a natural, healthy environment. These are the cornerstones of the quality of life in Limestone.

We are an economically and commercially progressive community where people choose to live, work and retire. We have a strong business community, comprehensive quality health care, excellent public services, attractive neighborhoods and affordable, quality housing. The community offers a variety of places of worship and is religiously diverse. We support and promote the arts.

Our community is a regional education center. We have a creative, innovative and progressive educational system that promotes lifelong learning. Our schools are nationally recognized for excellence. We have outstanding educational opportunities available for all.

Limestone has a diversified, environmentally friendly, global economy which includes a vibrant downtown, the Loring Commerce Centre, and an international airport. In cooperation with surrounding communities, we have established a foreign trade zone. Agriculture and forestry continue to evolve as a valued part of our growth. These, and a variety of other industries, create high quality jobs for residents to meet their employment goals, as well as attract people to the area. Limestone is also a center of international tourism, eco-tourism, and seasonal recreation in a rural setting.

We welcome new people into our community and celebrate our multi-cultural backgrounds. We value the past, embrace new ideas, and look to the future with confidence.

Objectives:

  1. Promote Lifelong Learning
  2. Develop Commerce in Greater Limestone
  3. Enhance Quality Housing
  4. Enhance Transportation Infrastructure
  5. Market Greater Limestone
  6. Coordinate Community Services
  7. Promote Recreation

Waterville / Mid-Maine Vision for the Year 2020

We are a vibrant, family-oriented, regional community actively engaged in and responsible for shaping our future. Family in our community is about our relationships with each other: we are all family. We are an inclusive community that embraces individuality and values diversity. We promote interaction and respect among people of all ages and backgrounds. We nurture honesty, integrity, spirituality and personal and civic responsibility.

Everyone feels secure here. We can express ourselves without fear and we encourage public discussion and debate. We celebrate a high participation in consensual government. Our government and service agencies are coordinated and effective. We have an open door policy in all our institutions and welcome participation from everyone.

We are fiscally responsible. We maintain a vigorous economic environment while preserving a small-town atmosphere that is attractive, enjoyable and affordable. We actively recruit and support socially responsible enterprises. We are competitive in the global economy. High quality jobs provide economic equity, advancement and security for individuals and families. We cooperate regionally to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and promote sustainable economic development. We work with other communities to enhance their quality of life.

We are a community that coordinates our responses to our social, economic, cultural and artistic needs. Our health care services foster the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our residents. Our community offers broad educational opportunities for people of all ages and all needs. We emphasize service at all levels of education. Educational, religious, government, social and business organizations collaborate in supporting life-long learning and growth. We promote the creative and performing arts as a cornerstone of our regional identity.

We place a high priority on our youth. The entire community shares responsibility for the welfare of every child. Parenting is valued and supported. All children have a healthy, nurturing start in life. Youths actively participate in the community decision-making process. The community prepares young adults for productive lives and provides local career opportunities. As community members age we value their wisdom and continue to provide opportunities for them to meet their needs.

We hold an ethic that respects the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things. We make decisions based upon our understanding that the quality of our lives depends on respecting our environment. We value and work together to preserve our heritage, our architecture and our natural environment. Because we have preserved the blessings of our rivers, lakes, forests and farms, we are a center for rest, reflection and recreation.

We trust in the value of community. We respect each other. This is a place where people thrive.

Objectives:

  1. Develop a Vibrant Economy
  2. Excel in Education
  3. Protect Human Potential
  4. Promote Arts and Entertainment
  5. Beautify the Environment
  6. Empower Young People
  7. Build Community
  8. Expand Fitness and Recreation

Vision for Aroostook County for the Year 2025

Aroostook County is a caring, vibrant and beautiful community in which to live, work and raise families. The areaís natural beauty, cultural heritage and ethnic diversity attract visitors and permanent residents from all over the world. Well-managed lands, forests and abundant water bodies provide some of the nationís best outdoor recreational opportunities. World-class educational and health care systems, low crime rate, affordable quality housing, outstanding public transportation, and a clean environment make it a most desirable place to live.

Strong tourism, high-tech services and industry, and value-added natural resource based industries create a diverse and growing economic base providing employment opportunities for all. Forestry and agriculture continue to be prime ingredients of our economy. Free trade, an excellent multi-modal transportation system and our location place "The County" in a strategic position for the exchange of goods and services between the United States, Canada and the world. Private/public sector cooperation is the catalyst that ensures our success.

A flourishing arts community enriches and enhances our appreciation and expres-sion of ourselves, our environment and our heritage. Bustling downtowns are cul-tural centers of our communities that provide a variety of quality consumer goods and services for all ages.

We are a close-knit community that values the wisdom of our elderly and the vision of our youth.

Objectives:

  1. Create Business Success
  2. Expand Natural Resource-Based Business
  3. Develop Education Resources
  4. Improve Transportation Systems
  5. Update Telecommunications
  6. Enhance Tourism and Recreation
  7. Achieve County Unity
  8. Improve Social Services
  9. Beautify Aroostook
  10. Improve Health and Wellness

Vision for the Borough 2020 (London)
 
This Vision for the Borough 2020 is based on the aspirations for a better life in 2020 for everyone who lives, works or visits Barking and Dagenham. This Vision identifies the following three key areas:

Economy:

Our vision for the year 2020 is to have a well educated, highly skilled population who are able to access varied employment opportunities within the Borough. The greater personal wealth of our residents and workers will create a vibrant local economy with a wide variety of local retail, leisure and cultural facilities.

We want a greater choice in accessible and affordable public transport and a better standard of living for all our residents including people who are not economically active. We want people to choose to live, work and stay in Barking and Dagenham because the Borough offers them quality choices for employment, education, health, housing and recreation for the family.

Environment:

The environment is viewed as a key issue by local people. The Community Priority 'Cleaner, Greener and Safer' is a prerequisite for a better future overall. By 2020 Barking and Dagenham wants to be at the leading edge of local solutions for quality housing, parkland, open space and pollution control.

We want to see the Borough transformed through areas for living, working and leisure. We want the local community to lead the transformation of our street scene services, so that graffiti and rubbish is everyone's concern. We also want the green areas and the river to be attractive places for local people to enjoy.

Equity:

Our vision for the year 2020 is for a community that is inclusive towards everyone in it, regardless of their age, gender, race or sexuality, and has the confidence to welcome visitors and be proud of the area in which they live or work.

We want our community to be leading in the way that neighbourhoods are managed, working with the public services to keep them safe and secure and for there to be a range of activities in which everyone can be involved. We want to see the health of local people and social care for those in need greatly improved.

We believe that young people should be our future and they must have a stronger voice in what happens in the Borough and want to stay here as they grow and prosper. Above all, many of our historic problems stem from relative poverty, whether economic or social, and our 2020 vision is to work hard to reduce poverty for the whole of our community.

Medford, Oregon Vision for the 21st Century

We envision Medford as an outstanding livable community -- the financial, medical, tourist and business hub of Southern Oregon and Northern California, blending family lifestyles, diverse educational, artistic and cultural resources and a strong sense of environmental stewardship with robust economic activity to create a vibrant place for people to live, work, learn, invest, grow, play, and visit.

Key Elements:

  1. Leadership to develop and carry out the City's vision is characterized by the commitment of its elected and appointed leaders and involvement by citizens to produce meaningful, measurable outcomes.
  2. Medford is carefully balanced with appropriate housing densities and open space to avoid urban sprawl, define and establish character within and between neighborhoods and other valley communities and provide a quality living environment for all its citizens.
  3. Downtown Medford is a vibrant and enjoyable regional center.
    Bear Creek is an important community asset and feature that connects Medford and ties it to the Bear Creek Valley.
  4. Neighborhoods are clean, safe environments for all citizens, including children and senior citizens; they form the backbone of Medford's social infrastructure and are the focus of community involvement and participation.
  5. Aesthetic values are apparent in all facets of community expression.
  6. Excellent, life-long educational opportunities are available and accessible to all.

The Vision for Hancock County

By the year 2008, Hancock County will be a thriving and vibrant community, recognized nationally as a superior place to live, work, retire and play. . .

Our Vision (Richmond, Indiana)

Richmond: a vibrant, prosperous, inviting community; a place where we join together to live, work, learn, raise a family, play, retire, and serve others

We will foster a thriving diversified, growing economy that allows each citizen a livable wage while ensuring an enhanced quality of life. . .


© Copyright 2002-2013 by Magic City Morning Star

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